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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Huong Huong, Marrickville

Dinner in Marrickville with friends, and finally a visit to Huong Huong, a relatively new Vietnamese restaurant with familiar staff from a past eatery now closed.

It's quite large inside, although the tables and chairs are squeezed in to maximum capacity as usual. We take ages to scan the menu book (there are over 200 variants of dishes) and have to wave away the eager waitress three times before we finally hem and haw our way through our order.

rice paper rolls
Goi Cuon $7.00
Fresh prawn rolls


Goi cuon summer rolls are disappointingly bland. Methinks that once you are used to making your own, the heavy padding of rice noodles accompanied by lettuce, some prawns, a lone garlic chive and a whisper of mint do little to excite the palate.

lemongrass chilli chicken
Chicken with lemongrass and chilli $11.00

We're looking forward to our lemongrass and chilli squid, so when a plate of chicken arrives we confidently reassure her it's not ours. "No, it's yours" she insists. "You say chicken."

She is insistent so we politely relent, and although it is tasty at first, there's a little too much batter and salt for the palate after a few mouthfuls. Bsides, we're still secretly heartbroken that we missed out on squid.

scampi
Fried scampi with lemongrass and chilli $15.00

Fried scampi is an impressive collection of deep-fried crustacean. Feeling cheerily confident, I attempt to crunch down on the shell, but have to abandon most of the head and tail. The seasoning is plenty sweet, salty and lemongrassy, but the scampi lacks the delicate sweetness one would normally expect.

emu
Emu braised in Emperor sauce $14.00

We order the emu because none of us have had it before, but it's a little hard to discern the flavour with the sweet salty sauce that encases everything.

mixed drink
Mixed drink $3.00
Mung bean, jackfruit, palm seed and green jelly


For dessert I have the mixed drink, a tall glass of various Asian sweet beans, fruit and jelly topped with ice shavings, syrup and condensed milk.

ice cream
Ice cream with condensed milk and peanuts $3.50

R and A have the ice cream which is pleasant enough, but they struggle to taste the promised condensed milk.

creme caramel
Crème caramel with ice $3.00

And finally we share the creme caramel, a dish I couldn't resist ordering upon hearing it came with ice. "Just normal ice?" I check with the waiter, and even when he nods, I am still intrigued.

It all makes sense with the first mouthful though. Smooth silky custard swims in a rich toffee syrup that is tempered by the cool refreshment of shaved ice. It's a brilliant concept, and one that is so simple too. A perfect idea for a dinner party during a balmy summer's eve.

So sure there were some disappointments but we sensed there was potential amongst the 200 dishes on offer. We get the feeling we just ordered all the wrong dishes.

Like chicken instead of squid.

huong huong

Huong Huong
228 Marrickville Road, Marrickville Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9568 5522 or
Tel: +61 (02) 9568 5566

Open Wednesday to Sunday, 12noon-9.00pm


Related GrabYourFork posts:
Huong Huong (Oct08)

Marrickville - Hung Cheung (dinner) and (yum cha)
Marrickville - Nhat Tan
Marrickville - Old Thanh Huong
Marrickville - Post Cafe
Marrickville - Sydney Portugal Club
Marrickville -
Yen for Viet
Recipe -
Goi cuon summer rolls

12 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 12/19/2006 10:28:00 pm


12 Comments:

  • At 12/20/2006 4:37 am, Blogger Yvo said…

    I really have got to stop coming here when it's almost lunch time. The first picture, though you said they were bland, looks so amazing I am close to chewing on my screen :)

     
  • At 12/20/2006 8:10 am, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    Doesn't matter all the more reason to visit again. It was probably just an off day.

    You have to come try Kazbah with me.

     
  • At 12/20/2006 9:56 am, Anonymous lyn said…

    your posts always make me hungry and crave for the food. the fact that i'm in sydney too and all the restaurants you blog about are so accessible

    the dishes look yummy especially the lemon grass chilli chicken.
    oh and it's good to see good ol' creme caramel i think the price for the creme caramel is a little steep though :(

     
  • At 12/20/2006 12:28 pm, Blogger AnastasiaC said…

    Looks really good - will have to try it out as its only 10mins from my house!

     
  • At 12/20/2006 6:40 pm, Blogger Squishy said…

    Ah Vietnamese, I love it. One of my favourite cuisines. My favourite little restaurant is Quan Than on Hardgrave Rd, West End, in Brisbane. It's not about the decor, it's about the food. For $40 two adults can stuff themselves stupid and come out totally satisfied. The food is so fresh and so tasty. Pity you didn't get to have your squid. My favourite is the Salt & Pepper squid, with fresh chopped chilli and a little bowl of sweet fishy sauce they have. I don't know how they make it. If they have the sugarcane prawn wrap yourself rolls, try them next time. They are fantastic. If anyone has the recipe for the fishy sauce please let me know?

    I like to make my own. Yum. Oh and now I am hungry.

     
  • At 12/20/2006 8:53 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Yvo - lol. I get the same pain when I surf late at night :)

    Hi Pickles - Would love to go to Kazbah. Maybe a breakfast meetup one day?

    Hi lyn - The creme caramel was so good though--I thought it was a bargain! Sydney is filled with great restaurants isn't it?

    Hi anastasiac - Hope you do enjoy it. Marrickville is definitely on the up these days!

    Hi squishy - Salt and pepper squid is one of my favourite dishes :) And I do like those prawn paste on sugar cane sticks.

    Re: the fishy sauce do you mean nuoc cham?

     
  • At 12/21/2006 10:00 am, Anonymous lyn said…

    definitely! there's so much to eat around sydney. i keep discovering new places through your blog and you've managed to try a lot of restaurants that i've wanted to try.
    i still want to go to high tea at swisshotel. buffet style high tea = heaven

     
  • At 12/25/2006 3:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Vietnamese, chinese and thai cuisine" - I tend to avoid places like these

     
  • At 1/13/2007 11:38 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Lyn - Ahh the buffet high tea is a good but dangerous thing! Hope you make it soon. Enjoy!

    Hi Anon - I find a lot of Asian restaurants tend to have a diverse menu. It doesn't take too long to work out locals' favourites too.

     
  • At 6/18/2007 10:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The creme caramel is actually only $3 at Huong Huong and it's delish.

     
  • At 11/19/2007 2:32 pm, Blogger Christopher said…

    Hey Squishy,
    The secret to vietnamese fish sauce is to make lemonade, sounds crazy but it works.

    By lemonade I don't mean that fizzy crap they sell, I'm talkin' the old school kind that you actually make.

    A few parts water, sugar, and lemon. Make it so that its a nice zesty drink you would actually enjoy on a summer's day.

    As soon as it is ready to drink, stop, refrain from drinking it and open the cabinet to get a bottle of pure fish sauce (the stuff you buy in bottles at the asian grocer's, its gotta be the good stuff - the thai one with the squid on the front I think). Add the pure fish sauce to the lemonade and taste until you are happy with it.

    There you go! :)

     
  • At 11/20/2007 8:57 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anon - Thanks for the correction. Fixed now :)

    Hi Christopher - What a fab idea. I love it. Will have to try that next time (and try not to drink it all first!)

     

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