Situated just past the Sommerville Road junction of Gloucester Road, Huong Que is currently, as far as I’m aware, Bristol’s only Vietnamese restaurant. When the place first opened, feedback from diners wasn’t 100% positive, but after being taken over in late 2011 we were invited up there to give the food a try.
Slightly further up than the “main stretch” of Gloucester Road, its small front seating area and bar lead through to a larger dining room below street level, which – at a guess – holds only about 20 people at any one time.
Dimmed lighting and gentle music make for a relaxing atmosphere, which seemed incongruous with the laminated menus and drinks lives that we were given when we arrived. The current menus are only temporary, however – a relic from the previous owners – as the menu is due a complete overhaul this year.
Huong Que was unlicensed and operated on a BYO basis when it first opened, but now offers a selection of wines for under £10 per bottle, selected bottled ciders, and 330ml bottles of beer (including the Vietnamese Hanoi) for £2.50 to £3 each.
The food menu offers much in the way of diversity, and at great prices. Starters range from £3 to £8.50, with mains at around the £6 to £8 mark (specials are priced slightly higher). While many of the dishes are chicken, prawn or beef-based, vegetarians are also well catered for with both vegetable-based options alongside what is described on the menu as “vegetarian meat”.
We were brought a selection of starters to share, our favourite being the dried beef and mango salad (£8.50), the chunks of fruit and fresh herbs giving the whole dish a very clean and light taste.
These were accompanied by sweet and sticky pork ribs with tamarind and chilli sauce (£5.00), a salty but delicious fried Vietnamese seafood cake (£6.00) containing ground fish, squid and prawns, and crunchy Vietnamese summer rolls (£5.00) with vermicelli, pork, prawns and salad.
We shared two main courses between the two of us, the first being the vermicelli with spring rolls and grilled pork (£8.00). The meat, chargrilled to perfection, sat on a bed of vermicelli noodles, and was accompanied by beautifully crispy spring rolls. Salad, peanuts, fresh chilli and coriander leaves added a wonderful freshness to the dish. Very happy.
We were also presented with the special pho (£7.50). A simple broth, packed with flat noodles, well-cooked but tender beef, chicken and prawns was livened up by a couple of squirts from the bottles of chilli and hoisin sauce that adorn every table. A simple dish, but very clean-tasting and a generous portion for the price.
We left Huong Que feeling full, but comfortably so, having enjoyed a meal packed with flavour and at fantastic prices. We’ll definitely be back for more – and are looking forward to seeing how the menu develops this year!
Huong Que are taking part in the “Around The World In 80 Days” campaign – click here for special offers.
Please note: this meal was received free of charge, but in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.
Find Huong Que on the Bristol Bites Directory…