Vien Huong Restaurant – Chinatown Oakland – San Francisco – The Infatuation


Dig into a bowl of Vien Huong’s beloved chow jew ho fun noodle soup and you’ll uncover another understated thread within the Chinese diaspora. The noodle soup, by way of Vietnam, originates from Chaozhou or Teochew, China (transliterated into “chow jew” by Vien Huong), a region in northern Guangdong province with a distinct culture and dialect separate from the rest of the province. I happen to have Teochew roots myself, and Vien Huong’s take on the noodle soup brings me back to the flavors of my mother’s home region whose diaspora and culinary influence extends across countries like Vietnam and much of Southeast Asia.

The thick ho fun rice noodles are submerged in a crystal clear broth and topped with heapings of homemade fish balls, chicken, pork, and liver. Opened in 1983, the second-generation owners have stayed true to their parents’ recipe only adjusting slightly to reflect some changing tastes of their customers. Cilantro? No. Extra fried garlic? Yes. Be sure to grab extra helpings of their chili sauce – their delicious take on the classic Teochew condiment, which brings a pleasant sweet heat to the otherwise delicate flavors of their dishes.