It was a cool summer's evening when we made the spontaneous decision to visit Huong Xua. Enticed by their advertised special of $7 Pho Tai, we decided that eating out would be a lot more exciting than a home cooked meal, and headed off to Canley Heights.
Huong Xua looks more modern than some of the other restaurants surrounding it. It is further down the main strip of Canley Vale Road, a block or two away from the popular Holy Basil. This means that usually it is not too crowded, but on nights with a good deal be prepared to arrive early and wait. There were crowds around the entrance of the restaurant when we arrived at 8pm, but we were seated within twenty minutes which we felt was reasonable.
The inside of the restaurant appears clean and comfortable. They have taken time and paid attention to their interior decorating, ensuring that it looks neat and tidy without being too over the top. The waiters were rushing around from table to table, and so the service was somewhat slower than other restaurants we have been to. It took us almost half an hour to get hot green tea at our table. It arrived just before our food did.
There is nothing too out of the ordinary about their menu. Early on they specialised in Pho Tai (traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup), but have recently expanded their range, offering all sorts of dishes including Pho Ga (Vietnamese chicken noodle soup) and a variety of duck, seafood and pork options.
The Pho Tai here is fresh. The ingredients are simple and it's doesn't leave you feeling greasy and oily. They offer the pho here in two sizes, regular or large, and a regular is more than enough. We also ordered spring rolls with vermicilli and pork. The serving size was generous compared to other restaurants we have eaten in, and it impressed our table. We ordered three lychee shakes to finish. Sometimes when ordering a Lychee shake they can be watered down if the lychee to ice ratio isn't right, but these came out creamy and full of lychees. They were a delightful way to conclude our evening.
The restaurant doesn't have much floor space, so dining here with young children in prams would be difficult. It has two stairs at the front, making it difficult to enter in a wheelchair. However, if someone helps you up the stairs, there is enough room to dine inside. Huong Xua is probably suited best for smaller groups of up to six people due to their table arrangements and floor space.
If you happen to be nearby Canley Heights on a Tuesday or a Wednesday evening, be sure to take advantage of their $7 Pho Tai special. The prices of their other meals won't break the budget, ranging from $7 - $20, with some seafood dishes being a little more expensive.
Overall, Huong Xua provides a good atmosphere where you can enjoy a fresh Pho Tai with friends.