Today involved a walk through Chinatown lightheaded from hunger and with some slightly tricky dining requirements: in addition to two hungry omnivores there was me, the vegetarian, and another gal who is very sensitive to MSG. As we ambled down the busy street, the first check was for interesting meatless entrees, and the second check involved a peek inside to ask the staff about their MSG usage. Bow Hon was the first restaurant we came across to provide satisfactory results in both departments.
The food tasted good for sure, maybe too good, and made me wonder whether there was a bit of deception in the MSG-free claims. The table ordered a variety of dishes, and the two vegetarian items that we chose were: Mixed vegetables with shredded hot pepper, and Bean curd with spiced salt and hot pepper.
The veggies were your typical plate of steamed broccoli, carrots, baby corn, etc coated in a savory and spicy glossy sauce, and the Salt and Pepper tofu included 8 rectangles of creamy custard-y silken tofu quickly deep fried in a light batter, then rolled in salt and garnished with a little pile of sauteed hot peppers and green onions.
I don't exactly get the feeling that this place is the best food in the city, or near it, but it served the purpose and wasn't what I'd call bad. It also earned bonus points when the waitress, who barely spoke English, had the foresight to ask me if I minded fish cake embedded in the tofu. (I did indeed mind, and they were able to prepare it without.)