Brand new restaurants will always have their opening hiccups, but there seems to be a bit of confusion surrounding a particular dish being served at OBAO, Michael Hyunh’s new pan-Asian restaurant on 53rd btw. 2+3rd. Yesterday, I posted about my first lunch at OBAO and mentioned that I ordered the Bun Bo Hue, a spicy lemongrass flavored Vietnamese soup, that usually comes with all sorts of offal bits and pieces in it (and should have a red oily sheen.) At OBAO, the soup comes advertised as such on the menu, but what I was served seemed to more closely match their pho (as it was described on the menu.) I assumed they had just served me the wrong soup, until I read a review of the same soup on Peter Cherches’ blog. He ordered the Bun Bo Hue as well, and was served the exact same soup I got… but with one difference. He actually questioned the staff about it, and was assured it was the Bun Bo Hue and not the pho.
To further confuse the matter the soup comes with a hot chili paste, and other accoutrement that when added to the pho’ish dish make it more like a Bun Bo Hue (but not so much so that it settles the matter.) So, was this the case of a deconstructed Bun Bo Hue, or a staff that is just suffering from some major Vietnamese soup confusion. We weren’t the only ones who have tried the soup in the past week, and comments from other Midtown Lunch’ers have attempted to solve the riddle.
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Posted by Zach Brooks at 2:51 pm, November 24th, 2009 under O Bao.