Huong Sen Restaurant

Twin Cities, Minnesota


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The BBQ Mock Duck and the Spicy Mustard Tofu are great.

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Huong Sen has a large menu featuring at least a dozen or more vegan dishes, but the quality of the food is terrible. The curried tofu was bland, mucky and overcooked; the black mushrooms with broccoli was greasy, bland and heavy. The food reminded me of two-day old cafeteria buffet items---all mush and awful. Worse yet, the place is expensive at around $9-12 per dish; most Vietnamese restaurants in the area are not only cheaper, but give better food and larger portions. Even their tea had gone stale and was one of those 2-cent varieties you find in the discount bins of Asian stores. While the service was friendly, the atmosphere of the restaurant was dull and dark and they keep the heat low, so I had to wear my jacket while inside there! Huong Sen is not to be recommended, especially when the Twin Cities have so many other great Vietnamese restaurants.

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As a vegan in St. Paul, I find that few places offer more than a couple vegan dishes containing mock meat. Huong Sen offers almost every dish they have in mock duck and tofu. I would highly recommend the BBQ mock duck dish. The service is great, they have a few beers on tap and wine at reasonable prices for Grand Ave. They are generally not very busy, so it is easy to get a table or order take out in a timely manner. On a side note, should the older woman who works there serve you, do not be put off by her apparent abrasiveness. She is very nice, she just speaks sharply and quickly. I have come to enjoy her character very much. I would highly recommend this restaurant to any vegan/vegetarian in the Twin Cities looking for good Asian food.

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Well, I can't blame a restaurant for its soy sauce or its prices, when the food is of such good quality.

You'll find many variations on mock duck and tofu. Whereas the variety isn't as large as what you'd find at Evergreen, for example, it still takes up a page at the back of the menu, and is entirely without fish sauce, which is refreshing.

It is a bit pricier than your average Asian restaurant in the Cities, which will surprise you, given its spartan appearance, but I find that the extra cost is worth it. For example, something similar that you'd find for $8-9 someplace else would go for about $11 at Huong Sen. Also, it should be noted that the prices listed in the online menu are from around 2004-2005, so most things are more expensive today. However, instead of being served a bunch of bland filler vegetables (i.e., carrots & bamboo shoots) smothered in gravy, you actually get a whole bowl spicy mock duck, for example, and a separate, smaller bowl of rice.

Service is efficient and polite.

They also have bottled and tap beer ($3-5 range), as well as just one plum wine.

If you're in the St. Thomas or Macalester area, it's worth a try.

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EDIT: went back recently and dined in the restaurant. My number one problem: LaChoy soy sauce in the containers! Are you kidding me?!?! It doesn't say LaChoy, but the taste is unmistakable: pure salt.

Our food wasn't that great, either. The spring rolls were average, too warm and sticky (great that it's fresh, but difficult to eat). Horrible peanut sauce. Points for excellent tofu in the spring roll.

The Lemongrass-Cashew mock duck was tasty. My curry mock duck was not. It had a burned taste to it. The mediocre food was better the next day with the aid of superior soy sauce and peanut sauce.

Overall, it's great for take out to season at home for yourself. The price matches the quantity and not the quality, unfortunately. Service is friendly and they understand "vegan" which is a plus. I am giving a 6 because serving LaChoy is unforgivable and it will take me a while to try more dishes in order to more appropriately rate this place.

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The service here is friendly and the atmosphere is nicely decorated. The staff speak English and can answer any questions about what is vegan, vegetarian, etc. The veg. options here are numerous and include items like curried mock duck and sesame tofu. I had the curried mock duck, mock duck seasoned with curry and topped with peanuts. It was good, but I think I've gotten spoiled by Evergreen's curry. The curry here is not as saucy as other curry dishes I've had in the past and it is a little above average price.

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The mock duck dishes are amongst the best I have ever tasted. Barbecue Mock Duck is my favorite - spicy grilled duck with a "meat like" texture over fresh, crunchy vegetables. I have never had any tofu dishes there so I have no comment. Great service with a smile!

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The food is fantastic, very tasty. I've brought at least a dozen of my friends and family, and they all think it's great. The prices are very reasonable, and I believe it's only crowded for lunch. Their Curried Tofu is one of the best in the Twin Cities. The service is mixed. Everybody is great except for the owner, who is very difficult (but is at least amusing).

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This is the best vietnamese restaurant in Minnesota. Service is great, the amount of food is amazing! I recommend that everyone tries this place at least once- I promise you'll fall in love with this family owned restaurant!

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