House of Ho
House of Ho, located in the heart of Soho, specialises in modern Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant has quite a sophisticated atmosphere, with dim lights, wooden flooring and tables mostly set for two, it seems ideal for intimate evening meals and date nights.
This intimate dining approach is reflected on the menu, which offers a selection of small dishes, perfect for sharing. The portions are very small, so it is recommended to choose between three, along with a couple of sides.
Our first dish was the stuffed tofu. The presentation was adorable. The tofu was shaped into a box, complete with a tiny tofu lid, and noodles and mushrooms were neatly tucked inside. The dish itself did not have any real distinctive flavour. The tomato sauce served alongside, gave the dish a spicy kick to revive some of the flavour of the crispy tofu.
Next we tried the smoky aubergine dish, topped with crispy shallots that tasted slightly more burnt than smoky. Followed by Vegetable Curry, consisting of tomatoes, potatoes, noodles, okra, and aubergine in a very sweet, sugary sauce. The sweet taste was a pleasant break from the smoky starter.
Alongside these dishes, were our selection of sides including the Morning Glory and the Heavenly Flowers. The names alone were enough to intrigue us. The Morning Glory was a generous portion of water spinach, which had a distinctively smoky flavour. The Heavenly Flowers were grilled bulbs, with a crunchy texture and a smoky pan-fried taste. It was reminiscent of Asian street food. They were a perfect compliment to the main dishes, and in fact turned out to be bigger or even the same size as the mains.
For dessert we tried the Lemon-Scented Cème Brûlée and the Molten Marou Chocolate Cake. The crème brûlée was a small portion, but just enough after the wide selection of main courses. The top was pleasantly crunchy and the cream was the perfect consistency, not too rich or lemony, not heavy, and perfectly formed.
To end the meal we tried the Vietnamese coffee. A small glass was served, with a mini filter placed on top, which dripped the coffee into the glass. A small jug of sweetened condensed milk was served alongside. Like traditional Vietnamese coffee, it was very sweet.
Overall, the meal was like an adventure. It was fusion of different tastes: from sweet to smoky. The traditional Vietnamese dishes were perfectly executed for modern dining.
Photos: Daniela Valla
House of Ho: 53/60
To book a table at House of Ho, 57-59 Old Compton Street, London W1D 6HP, call 020 7287 0770 or for further information visit here.