Posts for the 'Vietnamese' Category


House of Ho

The House of Ho opened in January 2014 in Old Compton Street in Soho and is the first London restaurant by Bobby Chin. Born to an Egyptian mother and a Chinese father, the food at The House of Ho echoes the influences that Bobby gained during the 18 years that he spent living and working in both Hanoi and Saigon. In July 2014, Bobby was appointed Vietnam Tourism Ambassador in Europe.

The House of Ho features a rectangular shaped dining room with an impressive frontage that looks out onto Old Compton Street. Tables right by the windows are therefore perfect for people watching. There’s a long bar area, and bamboo tables have been interspersed with a selection of Vietnamese art from Bobby’s own collection. The result is a restaurant with a modern Vietnamese feel to it that is smart yet relaxed.

The menu features lots of variety including a selection of pho cuon rice noodle rolls. We tried the one with confit of duck (£5.50) and found the duck to be dry. The noodle rolls themselves were really impressive however as these were delicious and fabulously authentic. There were also some perilla leaves in the roll which were really fragrant.

Imperial spring rolls (£6) were really yummy with a crispy wrapper and came with a delicious filling of pork, mushroom and prawn that was moist and satisfying. A sweet chilli sauce served as the condiment and it worked really well with the spring rolls.

House of Ho - Imperial & Noodle rolls with duck

Imperial & Noodle rolls with duck

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Naga Restaurant

Naga Restaurant and Bar, located across the road from Kitchen W8 on Abingdon Road, is an Oriental restaurant that draws its influences from both Vietnamese and Chinese cooking. There is also a Pan-Asian twist to the menu, and Head Chef Syarief was recognised as the Best Pan Asian Chef in 2011 by the Asian Curry Awards. Naga Restaurant and Bar also won Best Chinese Restaurant 2012 from the Asian Curry Awards.

The décor is appealing, helped in part by the glass ceiling overhead that leads to a light and airy feel. It’s a comfortable, casual space that one can easily relax in.

There were four of us so had a large variety of dishes to share, starting with the silken tofu with ginger dressing (£5.70) that was lovely and smooth and very delicious. The dressing, with its sweet and savoury tones, worked really well with the tofu even if there wasn’t a strong hint of ginger. The deep fried coating around the tofu added a nice texture to it.

Silken tofu with ginger dressing

Silken tofu with ginger dressing

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Ms. G’s Sydney, Australia

Ms. G's

Ms. G’s

All funky Sydney foodistas seem to looove Ms. G’s, a quirky, offbeat ‘Westernised’ fusion Asian restaurant located in Sydney’s pulsating Potts Point/Kings Cross area. Its décor is unconventional to say the least – a neon door out front, buckets hung from ropes, a graffitied wall, communal tables – all laid out over an impressive four floors of eating space. Its approach to dining is that it should be fun – take the bubble-tea cocktails on the menu, a twist on the bubble-tea ‘teas’ made famous by the Taiwanese. And that’s before we even hit its famed signature dessert of ‘Stoner’s delight’, where the secret ingredient for the dish was ‘the mind of a stoner’.

If there were there two things that were also going to guarantee Ms. G’s success, one would be that the Merivale Group is its owner, the multi-million dollar Australian hospitality business with the Midas touch that seems to turn almost every one of its bar and restaurant openings into a major success story. The second is that David Chang’s Momofuku is the inspiration behind Ms. G’s. The story goes that chefs Dan Hong and Jowett Yu hosted David Chang at a dinner at their previous restaurant, Lotus, and from that gathering the idea for Ms. G’s was borne. And to further guarantee its success, the influential Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide has also awarded Ms. G’s a ‘One Hat’ out of a possible three from its restaurant rating system.

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Viet Noodle Bar: Noodle express

Goi, Vietnamese prawn salad at Viet Noodle Bar

Goi, Vietnamese prawn salad at Viet Noodle Bar

I was running late. Worse yet, I was running late to meet my friend, J, who never ran late. If anything, she usually ran early. Having worked with her before, I knew her time keeping skills well, and punctuality was one of her core virtues. Personality-wise, as a cute version of Speedy Gonzales in a size four outfit, she used to zip around the office with the gusto of an Olympic ice speed skater. Highly energetic, she was so quick at what she did that I was never able to keep up.

The sweet irony is that I am generally, (occasionally?), reasonably, on time. In fact, more ironic was that I always seemed to be on time for those friends who run late for me. Take last week for example when I was due to meet a certain friend for a bite. For some perplexing reason there were no delays on Transport for London and I managed to arrive early. The friend then called me 10 minutes after we were due to meet to tell me he’d forgotten the time and he was only just leaving home. An hour and two glasses of champagne on an empty stomach later, I was surprised that I managed to still hold a conversation.

So feeling rather guilty when I finally showed up, I could do little more than apologise profusely. Being mid-week with certain work pressures in the office to uphold, it was just as well that we were having lunch at Viet Noodle Bar, where the service, like J, was lightning quick.

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