I've been looking for the same thing here and the closest substitute I could find is Sukhothai at Gurney Paragon so I was excited when a handful of Vietnamese restaurants started opening recently in Penang. Hương Quế operates in a small prewar house at Lebuh Melaka. It's the turn on the left just after the Anson Road market and parking is limited.
The beef pho is reasonably priced (RM 8.70) considering Hương Quế operates out of a very clean and air conditioned restaurant, not to mention that the size is huge. Broth wise - it was nice but not as strong as I was hoping it'd be. All of the fresh veggies that I added to it made for a very fulfilling lunch.The iced coffee (RM 3.70) is a MUST try for coffee lovers. It was my first time trying out Vietnamese coffee and it was immensely strong - loved it!
Hubs ordered the stewed pork (rice is RM1 extra) plus the special Vietnamese pancake (RM9.70). Bubs and Hubs loved how tender the pork was though for some reason, they mentioned the gravy was a little on the spicy side. The pancake is generally an egg omelette with minced pork and bean sprouts which we thought was quite ordinary. A big plate of fresh basil, mint, lettuce leaves and a chilli peanut sauce was served alongside the dishes and we were wondering if it was meant for the pork or the omelette ... hmmm ...
So Hubs came up with this combo - fatty pork on a bed of lettuce garnished with chilli and peanuts.
Spring rolls with BBQ prawn (RM8.70) was my favourite but be warned, this is chock full of fresh green herbs and veggies. If you can't stand the taste of leafy herbs, you might want to give this a miss. I've read comments that the rice wrapper was a little on the tough side but I really enjoyed it when dipped into the very spicy chilli sauce. The wait staff told me that they use Vietnamese chillis for their sauces which can be spicier than the local ones.
Behind the scenes: My little assistant helping me prepping the props ;)
We'll be back again for the yummy food!
Address: No. 37, Lebuh Melaka, 10400, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 12pm to 11pm. Closed every Tuesday.
Telephone: 604- 228 8727