Early Sunday breakfast at Huong Que Chicken Noodle House / Pho Ga Huong Que Cafe
And I mean early.
A little after 6 on a cold Sunday morning, after procuring 2 Wii vouchers at Circuit City Emeryville, we had time to eat before the store actually opened at 8 am.
We headed to Oakland, looking for perhaps a hot bowl of pho.
In the semi-darkness, the only restaurant open for business seemed to be Pho Ga Huong Que Cafe, or Huong Que Chicken Noodle House, which did not look all that inviting at that hour.
After cruising for other possibilities (it seemed pretty hopeless) we came back to this place.
This restaurant turned out to be much bigger than it looked. (see attached photos).
Now, I would have been satisfied with just okay. But it was excellent.
The green ginger sauce was amazing. They do sell the sauce to go, $3.00 for an 8 oz. cup.
The chicken broth was rich, and my Ho Fun noodle soup even came with tiny unlaid egg yolk balls.
I will try this place at other times, too. Chicken soup? This is it.
Pho Ga Huong Que Cafe
Huong Que Chicken Noodle House
1228 7th Avenue
Oakland, CA 94606
Here are the pictures. I had some difficulty uploading them.
Yes, a Viet-Chinese place. They are apparently open this week, too. They are closed every Monday.
To get the unlaid egg ho fun soup, (what a concept!) look in the Pho/Mi (of course) section, and look for chicken intestine options. Alternately, you can choose rice stick, clear noodles, etc. with chicken breast, thighs, and so on.
I am looking forward to trying their "whole fresh chicken" (also available in 1/2 or 1/4 portions) listed under Specialty.
So I went back to try the house specialty. A $4.25 portion of their "whole fresh chicken," ("ga 1/4 con"), was rather small, not quite enough for a meal. But, surprise! The chicken's texture was not a bad approximation of the Hainanese chicken. Not as plump, a little bony and no accompanying rice, cucumbers or soup the way Singaporeans eat it, but having just been disappointed by the Hainanese chicken rice at Kopitiam in Lafayette, this was a small revelation.
I wonder if I could get a boneless version of this chicken? With the green garlic and ginger sauce, the chicken is as good as boiled chicken gets.
The (thankfully misleading) "intestine" egg noodle soup was good, as expected, and it came with unlaid eggs and numerous chicken liver, hearts, gizzards.
A plate of blanched bean sprouts is served with the soup.
Tax is included in their low low price.
You were right. Their chicken noodle soup is very, very good. Most Pho places around town seem to serve the same salty chicken broth (bullion perhaps?).
Huong Que's broth was more homemade, with just the right amount of salt and ginger flavor, and very rich chicken flavor like you said.
The ho fun noodles were also excellent, I hadn't had ones these silky in a while. They were perfect in the soup.
The innards were good as well. Nicely cooked liver, tender hearts, and chewy gizzards. I wasn't too crazy about the unlaid eggs, it was my first time trying them and I found them to be bland and grainy in texture.
The green ginger sauce tied everything together. I hardly used the Sriracha I squeezed onto a side dish. I found it overwhelmed the delicateness of the soup. The soup didn't need a thing. It's literally perfect the way it's served.
For the unadventurous, you can order the soup with all thighs, or all breast meat, etc.