So my Best Friend V asked me out to lunch and she wanted to go to Tim Ky Noodle 添記麵家 in Mira Mesa because she wanted to eat Pork Kidney noodles. Located on the corner of Mira Mesa Blvd and Black Mountain Rd in the corner of that plaza, this little location has gone through several names and owners all of which pretty much serving the same thing: Chinese/Vietnamese noodle soups (not pho). There are several other restaurants like this in San Diego and I have always had a specific one as my go to place (my best friend too) but we decided to give this one a try.
The place really doesn’t look like much on the outside, with the matching blue sign and tiles. And it never occurred to me to try out the “new” place.
I really wish I took pictures of the restaurant inside because I was pleasantly surprised with how nice and clean and modern it looked inside. Their noodle soups are served with either rice noodle or egg noodles (or both). Growing up I’ve switched back and forth between all three options, but I’ve somewhat settled on the egg noodles. I also noticed that they added (hand written on the menu) Banh Canh (which is a slightly chewier version of udon noodles) as an option.
I ordered the “Wonton Rice Noodle or Egg Noodle” 上湯雲吞麵 with the soup on the side so that my noodles will be served dry. This is kind of a personal preference, I have never really been a fan of noodle soup dishes with too much soup (too hot for me) since I just like eating noodles.
I was also really excited to see the my noodles topped with a shrimp cookie. It’s basically a fried shrimp in wonton skins. You know how you always have the sriracha and hoisin sauce at pho restaurants? Well, at noodle shops like this it is this little pot of vinegar and chilies (is that considered pickled?). It’s not very spicy (though I don’t actually eat them, but I just drop a couple in my soup for flavor and then I add the vinegar to my noodles (plus a little bit of the red vinegar as well).
The soup was simple and what I would refer to it as sweet, not sugary sweet but meaty sweet. I think most of the items in the noodle section pretty much have the same soup base, it’s the meats / toppings that change. I got the wontons which also comes with the bbq pork (which I would much rather have not in my soup but that’s ok).
And V got the “Pork Kidney & Minced Pork Rice Noodle” 豬腰肉碎粉. They used the skinny rice noodles which is actually the same type of pho noodles I was eating in Southern Vietnam (according to my aunt who lives in Australia, this is also what she calls the legit pho noodles). I rarely see this type of rice noodle when getting rice noodle soups, instead it’s the fatter rice noodles.
I didn’t try her noodles, but I tried the Pork Kidneys. I dipped in the the satay chili sauce and gave it a try. It was actually kind of soft and not as chewy as I expected it to me. V said it was because it was a little over cooked. She ended up being a little disappointed because of that, but overall we had a nice lunch at this little spot in our neighborhood.
After showing my sister the picture of their menu, we planned to go back because my sister is on her own search for “Rice Vermicelli with Round Yellow Noodle” 米粉黃麵. We returned on a Saturday morning at about 10am and the restaurant looked like it was starting to get busy as people trickled in.
My Mom and sister usually share a bowl of noodle, but they both wanted to try something different. I decided to get the”Wonton Rice Noodle or Egg Noodle” 上湯雲吞麵 again (I guess I’m checking consistancy?), sister got the “Rice Vermicelli with Round Yellow Noodle” 米粉黃麵, and mom got the “Duck Leg with Egg Noodle” 鴨腿麵.
The “Rice Vermicelli with Round Yellow Noodle” 米粉黃麵 is a little different from the other noodle dishes on the menu because it is actually served with different types of noodles. My sister always ordered this at the little noodle shop we went to regularly as kids (Ming Ky in City Heights does not have this on the menu anymore, my guess cause they’ve changed ownership).
Its a combination of vermicelli (bun) and a fat (round) yellow noodle both cooked rather al dente (just how we prefer it). The soup is considered to be rather bland (to me) with subtle seafood flavors and topped with a variety of things: pork, chicken, shrimp, fish balls, etc. I think we were most surprised by the fish balls because they were actually rather ‘bouncy’ and not chewy like the frozen store bought ones.
Mom ordered the Duck Leg with Egg Noodle “鴨腿麵“ which I would consider to be on the opposite of the flavor spectrum. The soup is almost black and has a subtle Chinese herbal flavor to it.
The herbal flavor comes from the star anise and the what I call “Chen Pi” 陳皮 which are sun-dried tangerine/mandarin peels (I’m not sure what other herbs are in it). I’m usually not a big fan of the herbal flavor, but I think it’s a good sign to be able to actually pick up the herbal taste in the soup because that’s how we know they actually put these herbs in (some of these herbs can get somewhat pricey). I’m almost always the unlucky (or my mom says I’m lucky) to bite into the star anise when she cooks and that’s not a good taste, it is a good taste when you cook with it.
We all ended up feeling as though we ate a little too much. But it was a good breakfast! I’m planning to drag my Dad here again, he can be quite picky with his noodle soups so we’ll see how he fairs.Tim Ky Noodle (yelp)
9330 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126