I recently experienced my first proper taste of Vietnamese food by heading to The House of Ho restaurant on Percy Street in Fitzrovia, London. Vietnamese food is certainly not something that immediately jumps to mind when family or friends suggest going out for dinner so when I was invited for dinner with my work colleagues it was a great opportunity for me to try something different.
So how does The House of Ho describe themselves on their website:
Discover us in the heart of Fitzrovia with over four floors dedicated to luxury eating and private dining.
With a collection of rooms for more intimate and private dining, we can offer you a unique sense of Vietnamese character and a beautiful hideaway from the bustle of London in our rooms. Our Vietnamese kitchen creates enthralling dishes, full of colour, authentic ingredients and exciting tastes. Join us at House of Ho for the full vibrancy of Vietnamese food.
For a restaurant describing themselves as “luxury eating”, I must admit that from the outside I would likely have walked straight past if that’s what I was looking for – it certainly doesn’t scream of luxury dining.
Once inside however it was a bit of a shock to the system as the decor has been finished to a very high standard which for me at least certainly didn’t reflect the building’s exterior (images from http://www.houseofho.co.uk/).
Once seated the 5 of us ordered a bottle of wine and several sharing starters for the table including:
- King Crab, Prawn & Crème Fraiche Croquettes (£9.00)
- Crispy Squid with Chilli & Sea Salt (£9.50)
- King Prawn & Chive Dumplings (£6.50)
- Mixed Selection of Smoking Sashimi (6 pieces) (£17.50)
With the sharing dishes finished as our starters we then received our main courses which we also shared on the table:
- Black Sea Bass (£30.00)
- Shaking Beef 220g (£22.00)
- Jasmine Rice (v) (£4.50)
- Ho Fried Noodles (v) (£6.50)
- Vietnamese Asian Greens (v) (£6.00)
Having never experienced Vietnamese cooking I was blown away by how good the food served at the restaurant was. The flavours in every course and dish were exceptional with the accompanying sauces a perfect match to keep things balanced. Having never eaten black sea bass before either it was possibly the best tasting piece of fish I’ve ever eaten. The flavour was really delicate and the fish was perfectly cooked.
Between the group everyone was very complimentary about the food that was served to us. It all arrived in good time, was hot and as you can see from my photos, was presented beautifully.
For our dinner we were seated on the first floor in the wine store. A “clean” photo of this room is shown at the start of this post however with no eyeball lens on the camera, this is how the room looked just before we left.
With the room being closed off on both sides it was essentially private dining which made for a great experience. This would be perfect for a celebration or simply if you wanted a little more privacy from other diners.
During our meal we were served by 2 separate waiters. One was continually attending to our drinks ensuring we were topped up and had plenty of table water whilst our other waiter focused on taking the food orders and directing the other waiters to delivering food to our table.
The service was top drawer with them being attentive to our every need which is certainly something I would expect from a restaurant that positions itself in this way.
As a first time diner with Vietnamese food and certainly at a Vietnamese restaurant I was incredibly impressed. The food had so much more flavour than I was expecting and challenged my preconceptions about certain foods that I had in the past dismissed.
The restaurant itself was equally as impressive and even though we had a private dining area in the wine store, the other tables around us looked just as nice in their own private settings.
This is one restaurant which I’m pleased is now firmly on my radar as a destination for dinner when I’m out and about in London and one which you should head to also.
Head to The House of Ho for dinner the next time you’re in the area, you won’t be disappointed! 10 out of 10!
View the menu: http://www.houseofho.co.uk/menu/
Reservations: http://www.houseofho.co.uk/reservations/ or call 0207 323 9130
Address: 1 Percy Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1DB