Apr 3, 2008

Local Review: Huong Que Cafe - Pho Ga and Chao Ga - Oakland, CA

I used to live a short walk away from Huong Que Cafe and passed by its red awning a few times, under which old Asian men played Chinese< chess, but I never actually went inside...  That is, until recently, after I had already moved away from the area. It's a favorite of my brother's that he discovered after I had moved out. It's a quite bit roomier inside then its facade suggests and there was plenty of seating available.
I ordered the Pho Ga ("chicken noodle soup") which comes with thicker ho fun noodles rather than the usual thin rice pho noodles; I ordered the same thing as my brother since he visits so regularly. The chicken was described on the menu as "fresh" which means from a recently-butchered bird.  "Fresh" chicken is boiled and has a supple, chewy texture rather than being fork tender. It's the same style of chicken that com ga ("chicken rice") is supposed to be served with.

The pho is served with a dish of a yummy sauce made of minced ginger, green onions, salt, and oil.   The sauce has a pretty strong ginger flavor and tastes great coupled with the chicken (or just plain over rice for that matter). The broth is light but very rich and full of chicken flavor.The sister ordered the Chao Ga ("chicken rice porridge") which had a tiny unlaid egg yolk.
She stirred up the porridge so you could get a better look at the pieces of chicken liver and whatnot. I've never been a fan of rice porridge; I could never get myself to like the texture (soggy rice!). But my sister likes it fine.

Huong Que Cafe
1228 7th Ave (It's right next to a park)
Oakland, CA 94606
(510) 835-8488

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