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Restaurant review: House of Ho, Soho, W1

PUBLISHED: 16:38 12 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:38 12 March 2014

The Seafood Ceviche, Pic: Ming Tang-Evans

The Seafood Ceviche, Pic: Ming Tang-Evans

© Ming Tang-Evans

A new restaurant from a well-known chef in saturated Soho always runs the risk of having more style than content.

Restaurant info

House of Ho

55 to 59 Old Compton Street

W1D 6HR

Tube: Leicester Square

T: 020 7287 0770

W: www.houseofho.co.uk

Mains: from £8

Wine: from £12 a bottle

Disabled access: Yes

Children welcome: Yes

Happily, the much-heralded arrival of House of Ho does not disappoint, nimbly avoiding pretentious pitfalls with a combination of great food, lovely service and prices that won’t make your wallet weep.

The man behind the menu – Bobby Chinn – is an inventive cove, drawing culinary influences from his Chinese and Egyptian heritage, via San Francisco and Hanoi, where he has plied his trade.

As a result the food on offer broadly falls into the Vietnamese bracket with a few incongruous surprises – salmon tartare, squab, chayote – thrown in.

Divided into light and raw, hot and grilled, specials and sides, the best technique is to order a couple of each and get sharing.

The seafood ceviche was seminal and immaculately presented (to my eyes at least, my guest thought it looked like a coconut being sick). Smoother and creamier than the Peruvian variety, but with plenty of citrus and spice – top notch.

Tangy

The rolls were a little bland, and the wings merely pleasant, while the tangy salmon was a light and fresh appetiser and the zingy grilled quails were moreish in the extreme.

The real showstoppers were the mains though. The sea bream, elegantly grilled with a crust, look fantastic; served head-on and posed as though it was diving out of the ocean. It was one for the Instagram scrapbook.

With flesh cooked to perfection, without much seasoning but a wickedly zesty coriander dip to bring everything together, it was an absolute winner.

Meanwhile the steak – unbelievably tender and very rare, with just a hint of chargilled bitterness – also got my juices going.

Even the pudding, a fondant packed with smokey Vietnamese chocolate, didn’t disappoint.

All the food at House of Ho is good – and some of it is exceptional – so as you’re only talking £10 to £15 for the (not huge) mains, why not go ahead and treat yourself?


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