Thursday, July 03, 2008


We were driving down Thonglor one day and saw a banner for a new restaurant that just opened. It is called Hue (the old imperial capital of central Vietnam); a new Vietnamese restaurant. The banner said the restaurant has a Vietnamese cook from America. This sounded interesting so we decided to try it the following week.

The restaurant is huge; and to our disappointment, we were the only people in the restaurant (I hate eating alone in restaurants). The decor is very white, plain and has tacky decorations on each table.

The first dish was goi cuon (fresh spring rolls). The goi cuon was very fresh and moist. The stuffing of shrimp, pork, lettuce & rice noodle were of good quality.

The next dish was raw beef in pho soup. Normally for this dish, the raw beef is put into the bouillon the very very last minute before serving it so that the beef is still a bit red and very tender. At Hue, the beef has been sitting in the bouillon too long, making the beef a bit too chewy. The problem with the bouillon was that it was too strong with clove essence. The great thing about a pho bouillon is that it cooks for several hours to get the perfect blend of ginger, onion, bones (chicken or beef), anais, and clove essence. But at Hue, the essence of cloves was too over whelming, which was not enjoyable.

The next dish was bun bo Hue. A wonderful soup from the central part of Vietnam. The main ingredient for the bouillon is lemon grass and shrimp paste. It should be medium spicy and burgundy in colour. The rice noodles should be thicker than the ones used in pho, they actually resemble soba noodles. The soup should include thin slices of marinated beef shank. At Hue restaurant, the bun bo Hue was very nice. Very good tasting bouillon and the beef was tender. It was so much better than the pho bouillon.

The next dish was marinated & grilled pork with rice noodles. The pork was very tasty. This was a simple dish but a good dish.

The last dish was nem nuong. This is like a raw sausage. A mixture of savoury & sweet taste. You can eat it may ways and at Hue you eat it with rice noodles. This is not my favourite dish, but we ordered it to try anyway. It was not bad, but still, it is not my favourite dish.

Overall, the food is not the best Vietnamese food I have had. But, there were some really nice dishes. I was very disappointed with the menu. The choices for food is very limited. I was actually surprised how few dishes they had on the menu. For example, they don't even have cha gio (fried spring rolls). If Hue wants more people to come eat at their restaurant, they need to expand the choices on the menu and improve their pho (that is a true test of a Vietnamese restaurant).

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