The House of Ho is a restaurant opened by chef Bobby Chinn, serving modern Vietnamese. The place opened with a soft launch at the end of last year which I unfortunately missed.
I have heard the name ‘The House of Ho’ many times but I never had the urge to try. But when asked where to eat for a Monday evening I blurted out a list of restaurants around the area of Leicester Square. The House of Ho became a final choice and surprising to us we managed to get a table for two with out any booking.
The restaurant has a low light setting with wood being a base material, that is used throughout the restaurant. It has that casual feel to the place but classy at the same time. We were seated on a table at the back of the restaurant which had comfy leather seatings. I have to say that I was impressed with the table we got!
The menu is not long but enough variety to choose. Our waitress advices us that for two people you need about five to six dishes across the whole menu and every thing is for sharing. I asked her what she recommend and she was very helpful in guiding us through the menu and gave us more details about the dishes.
We started with Pho Cuon Cold Noodle rice rolls which has a choice of fillings. We decided on duck (£5) over the fillet mignon (£5.50), as I think duck gives more flavour. Although, if I have another opportunity then I would love to try both side by side.
The roll was a great way to start our meal. The duck indeed helped provide the flavour with a hint of fragrant from the herb. The rolls did not really required the chilli sauce that accompany the dish, but did gave the rolls a fiery kick. My eating guest felt ho sin sauce would had better suited but I personally think the flavour would have over power the roll.
From the hot and grilled section we ordered the Hanoi’s grilled 5 spices quails on crispy noodles (£9). This was an interested dish as the sauce we got to make ourself, which was zingy and fiery. It was a great dipping sauce for the quail which did not have much flavour but was cooked beautifully.
We ordered three dishes from the Ho’s dishes section and one had to be their signature dish, Apple-smoked pork belly served with braised cabbage and half a boiled egg (£11). The dish was very flavoursome – sweet and smokey in taste. The braised cabbage and egg was a good compliment with the belly pork.
The Lemongrass Monkfish with Fish Caramel sauce (£12) was disappointing in terms of the small portion size with the price tag it attached. But it was tasty with a sweet flavour from the sauce. Both made great dishes to have with Jasmine rice.
The third dish we ordered was the ‘Shaking Beef’ (£14) which was beautifully cooked 21 day-aged fillet. The beef had a smokey flavour and the salad leaf really complimented the beef, giving it another level to the taste.
We finished our meal with dessert and their were four to choose. The ice cream trio was not tempting enough as the flavour that evening was vanilla, mango and strawberry which did not seem unique enough.
I went for the Gluten free coconut Che since it must be some Vietnamese influenced dessert. Apparently Che is a Vietnamese term for referring to dessert or sweet beverage. There are different varieties which usually consist of ingredients such as coconut cream, beans or tapioca etc.
The House of Ho Che was like a thick runny dessert. – similar texture to the Chinese sago dessert. The dessert consisted of fresh sweet corns bits and crunchy nuts sprinkle on top, which gave it texture. I was surprised to hear that apparently many customers did not like the dessert, because I thought it was nice. Although I did find it a touch too sweet.
We also tried the Moltan Marou Chocolate cake (£6.50) which was served with vanilla ice cream. A soft chocolate sponge that had a lava chocolate centre. This is one for dark chocolate lover!
Overall, the food was nice although some dishes were pricey for the size of the portion. We spent £40pp including two bowl of rice and jasmine tea. I would definitely not be dining here regular. It will what I will refer as fine dining Vietnamese. Even the tap water was fancy with a slice of cucumber.
I did find that the service for our table of two was slower than compared to the larger tables. It did test my patient! But I felt the staff were friendly, as every one said “hi” from the minute you step indoor and “bye” the minute you walk out of the door.
The House of Ho
55-59 Old Compton Street,