Huong Que

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I'm sort of a gỏi cuốn/nem cuốn (roll) feen.  Pork rolls, shrimp rolls, you name it and I love it.  Surprisingly, I didn't eat it when I was in Vietnam though, which only makes me want to go back.  In the Bay Area, its really hard to find places that serve these types of dishes.  Not only have a grown to love nem nuong (pork meatball) cuon, but also I've discovered ca nuong (roasted catfish).  More specifically in San Francisco's Tay Giang (see post HERE).  With the massive Vietnamese population in San Jose, I had high hopes for Huong Que.

Almost every table has the same dish - roll in yourself fried catfish - ca nuong so I felt pretty good about my decision.  Right restaurant, right dish, right?  Also, I remembered that one catfish easily serves two to three people so I was good about not ordering too much this time around.  Like nem nuon cuon, the fried catfish comes with rice papers to use as wrappers.  A couple dips in the bowl of hot water and you are good to go.

Some rice noodles to include in the wrapping.

The plate includes lots of fresh veggies: mint, basil, cilantro, Vietnamese mint (one of my favorite herbs), and lettuce.
Also, for your wrapping pleasure - beansprouts, pickled carrots and radish, and cucumber spears.

Similar to the fried catfish at Tay Giang, the catfish is deep fried and cut in half.  Its sprinkled with green onions and fried garlic.  Unfortunately, it was no where near as tasty as Tay Giang's.  The fish came out lukewarm and the skin did not have a light crisp, but more of a hard, chewy texture.  The actual flesh of the fish was so bland and the way the meat broke apart I'm pretty sure this fish was frozen.  Possibly one of the worse Asian fish dishes I've ever had.  I guess I'll have to stick to Tay Giang's for the fried catfish.
The fermented dipping sauce is a little pungent (as it should be) and overpowered the tasteless fish.

Address:                 Huong Que
                               3005 Silver Creek Rd.
                               San Jose, CA
Type:                       Vietnamese

Popular chomps:      ca nuong (fried catfish)
                                banh canh
                                bo nuong la lot (grilled beef wrapped in grape leaves)

Chomp worthy:         nothing     

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