Devotees of Vietnamese food in town should be delighted and excited to know that there is another greater variety on offer. Hương Quế is one of the latest Vietnamese eats to burst on the Penang scene. Tucked within one of the houses along Lebuh Melaka, one could easily overlook the humble and no-frills restaurant, fortunately, it can be distinguished by its green-colored sign board. The menu is simple and earnest, they do not have much to offer currently, only a few choices of rice and Pho dishes, as well as some Vietnamese delicacies. One of the most exotic ones will be none other than the Balut/ Vietnamese Fertilized Duck Egg which is only available for dinner. Prices are definitely reasonable but the seats are rather limited and might not be too accommodating for larger groups; be sure to make your reservation should you are planning to have a gathering or family dinner.
Beef Pho (Rm 8.70) is a typical fare at Vietnamese restaurants and I was quite pleased with the impressionable quality of their Pho. Served together with a basket of Fresh Basil Leaves, Lime and Sprouts, the Beef Pho comes in a huge portion. The broth was beautifully cooked with an astonishing depth of flavor, savory but with a hint of beefy-sweetness; further heightened by the use of various Herbs and Spices. The noodles, on the other hand, were silky smooth in texture. This could be the best Vietnamese Pho I had so far. However, if I had to nitpick, I would certainly love my Beef slices to come in bigger size, for the meatier bite.
The quintessential item at Vietnamese eateries- Goi Cuon/ Vietnamese Spring Rolls (4 for Rm 8.70). Unlike other Goi Cuon I had, Hương Quế uses Char Siew/ Chinese Barbecue Pork instead of the Vietnamese Grilled Pork slices instead; in which I was left underwhelmed. The combination of flavor does not seem to be at the right formula for me. Other ingredients include Lettuce, Thai Basil Leaves, Shrimps and Vermicelli Noodles. Also, the Rice Paper Wrapper was a little too chewy to the bite; the dish has potential but it could be even better if they are able to tune the recipe right.
Vietnamese Coffee (with Milk, Rm 3.20 for Hot, Rm 3.70 for Iced)
Taste: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 8/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 6/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: No. 37, Lebuh Melaka, 10400, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 12pm to 11pm. Closed on every Tuesday.
Contact Number: 604- 228 8727