House of Ho, Fitzrovia
Article by Harv Sahota
Nestled in the back streets of trendy Fitzrovia, a 5 minute walk from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street is where you will find this chic and stylish restaurant. The cuisine is Vietnamese fusion with a twist, packed with flavour and guaranteed to spice up your evening. With a name to remember (or equally raise a few eyebrows), either way you’re intrigued to see what this corner house has to offer.
‘House of Ho’ is set in an impressive four storey townhouse with exquisite and stylish interiors. It feels like an exclusive members club with a vibrant and uplifting atmosphere minus the pretentiousness. Everyone is made to feel welcome - whether you're visiting the restaurant's private dining rooms for an intimate gathering or their bar which hosts a DJ from Thursday – Saturday, you'll be sure to have a good time.
The menu provides a modern and sophisticated take on Vietnamese street food amongst other Asian influences. Celebrity Chef, Ian Pengelley, who's curated the menu at House of Ho, found inspiration from his travels across Asia reflected through the variety of colourful dishes crammed with fresh flavours. The plates are designed for sharing with something to suit all. But if like me, you are often spoilt for choice, I would recommend installing some advice from the staff who are extremely well-informed on all dishes.
We started with the crispy squid, which was lightly coated in a delicate batter with a sweet chilli dip to compliment the fresh flavours. This was followed by the crispy duck and watermelon salad, sprinkled with roasted cashews and fresh mint. The duck was a little too crispy for my liking. But nonetheless the interesting pairing surprisingly worked and reminded me of a refreshing watermelon mojito (minus the duck of course!)
To incorporate a taste of Japan to this eclectic Asian dining experience the sushi is a must. We were recommended the ‘Mr Chang’ roll; a lightly battered tempura prawn stuffed within a California roll. A popular choice amongst diners we were told, and I now know why...
To balance our meal with a vegetable dish we opted for the aubergine salad, which was infused in a rich and smoky plum sauce bursting with flavour to compliment the meatiness of the dish.
The show stopper and most impressive dish had to be the soft shell crab. A meaty and tasty dish that's cooked and seasoned to perfection made a grand entrance on a ginormous platter of dried chillies. The smoky orange vinaigrette dip complimented the crab perfectly. If you’re not brave enough to munch on the dried chillies, the chilli mayo is a tastier and less hazardous alternative!
No Asian meal would be complete without dumplings - but it can often be hard to find perfectly cooked dumplings. We weren't disappointed by the lightly steamed parcels of joy here. We ordered the prawn and black cod gyoza - delicate and pleasing on the palate.
House of Ho offers a number of deals for diners from ‘all you can eat’ sushi on Mondays and ‘bottomless brunch’ on weekends, 12-5pm. We were also informed that if you’re visiting for drinks during February, order the Valentine’s cocktail special to be in with a chance to win a Hotel Chocolat hamper or gorgeous bouquet of flowers!
House of Ho will be opening in Westfield, Shepherds Bush in 6 weeks. Then where will ‘Ho’ go next? Watch this space as I predict an exciting year ahead for this fun and alluring restaurant.
Find more on Harv's food adventures @harvtinisldn