It's funny how blogging has brought so many awesome people into my life, when I first started Lux Life nearly five years ago I had no idea there was even a blogging community! Every so often I get to go to an event that gives me the opportunity to meet other bloggers...and through these events I've met some really lovely people who I love spending time with. A couple of weeks ago I went to an event at the new House of Ho in Fitzrovia with few of my favourite bloggers. The original House of Ho in Soho has been renamed Ho Modern Vietnamese, with the new House of Ho being more of a fine dining concept. We had a pretty sensational meal...
I've met Emma, Lauren, Andrea, and Gary a fair few times before, so as soon as I knew they would all be at the event I was even more excited to catch up with them over some great food! I arrived at the four storey townhouse on Percy Street and they were already there with glasses of bubbles. I collected mine and joined them for a natter before we sat down for dinner.
We then went upstairs to one of the beautiful private dining rooms. It was a really lovely room, and soon the staff were bringing in the dishes from Ian Pengelley's new tasting menu to satisfy our foodie hunger pangs. Ian is no stranger to Asian fine-dining, having previously been head chef at E&O in Notting Hill (the restaurant where I first fell in love with Japanese food thanks to Dan), Chai Wu in Harrods (which I loved, despite it's strange location and early closing time), and Nozomi in Knightsbridge.
We started our meal with a Junmai sake and Vietnamese crackers served with a salsa dip. I'm not a huge cracker fan, but these were pretty delicious! Now I had a major #bloggerproblem - I'd been in Lisbon the weekend before the event, so my wide-angle lens was on my camera rather than my 35mm fixed 'food' lens. The wide-angle lens isn't great in low light, so I had major trouble getting decent photos. Sorry!
I wasn't drinking as I'm on a bit of a health kick and trying to cut down on my alcohol in-take. So I stuck to water and avoided the matching wines. Our first food dish was 'bo la lot', black angus beef fillet wrapped in betel leaves and served with a light sauce. I adored this dish, the portion size wasn't too big for a starter dish, and the flavours were sensational.
Next up was one of my favourite dishes of the night; duck and watermelon salad. It sounds like a strange combo, but I loved the lightness of the refreshing watermelon combined with the big juicy pieces of duck and the crunchy cashews.
The crispy squid that came next was OK, but nothing too special. At least the batter was light and crispy though rather than being super heavy
The seabass and prawn dumplings that came next were another favourite. I really do love dumplings, they're so satisfying, and these were no exception. The flavours of the seabass and prawn just made me want more and more...and I may have finished off the leftover ones...*ahem*
The next dish was a bit of a surprise as it's an off-tasting menu dish (but is on the normal menu so can be ordered), but oh my goodness. Despite not being a huge fan of spicy food I completely loved the soft shell crab on a bed of dried chillies. The bed of chillies gave it a really subtle kick, which wasn't overly spicy for my bland British palate.
The shaking beef that arrived afterwards wasn't my favourite dish of the meal, I thought the beef was a little too overcooked and tough for my liking, and Lauren agreed, however a few of the others loved it.
The lemongrass chicken however was exceptionally good. I adored the fragrant light flavours and tangy sauce!
The Chilean seabass has to be the stand-out dish of the night. It was honestly incredible. It tasted similar to black cod, and the huge chunk of seabass that fell apart in huge flakes as you cut into it had all of us groaning in satisfaction. Please, if you ever go to House of Ho, promise me you'll order this dish?!
I was now at the point of feeling incredibly full, so much so that I was on the verge of that 'so full I feel a bit icky' feeling. However, I am a dessert girl through and through, and no matter how much pain my stomach was in from being stretched to the point of bursting, I was going to have my cake and eat it. Literally. We had a dessert each, and a sharing dessert.
The first dessert was my favourite; a beautiful banoffee crumble with gooey cooked bananas in a caramel sauce and a thick crispy crumble topping with just the right amount of sweetness. It was heaven in a bowl. The chocolate ice-cream served alongside it was pretty great too!
The second dessert for sharing was a green tea fondant with passionfruit sorbet. The green tea and passionfruit paired together marvelously, and we polished it off rather swiftly.
We had such a wonderful evening at House of Ho. The food was exceptional, and the location really fabulous. The entire space was classy yet homey, it wasn't stark or unfriendly, it felt lovely and warm and we all really loved the experience!
I'm not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to Vietnamese food, although I enjoy it I don't have it very often (mainly because surprisingly there aren't a huge amount of Vietnamese options in London).