HO HO HO
London is at its magical best at this time of year. Four weeks until Christmas, the lights are up and the windows are dressed, but the city still has that ‘calm before the storm’ air about it. Perfect time to head up west, do a spot of late night shopping and then sink into a leisurely dinner at one of Fitzrovia’s finest – The House of Ho. I’m a traditional girl at heart, so a four-story converted townhouse with architectural features and lots of little rooms branching off here and there totally does it for me. Add to that a superb chef in the form of Ian Pengelley (ex E&O and Gilgamesh) and I’m in seventh heaven – and that’s before I’ve even taken a look at the menu.
Designed to share (of course) as well as to please (goes without saying) it’s a really easy menu to choose from. There’s pho (soup), sashimi and sushi rolls but we didn’t order any of those. We started with a soft shell crab with Vietnamese sauces (magnificently displayed heaped atop a pile of dried chillies), duck bao buns, duck spring rolls, glazed chicken wings (these had a really pleasing kick to them) and soft chicken dumplings. This was followed by a stunning warm aubergine salad, duck and watermelon salad (we were on a duck fest!) shaking beef (tender, marinated cubes of the finest beef fillet) and steamed rice. We were pleased that they appeared to have forgotten the Chilean sea bass as we were totally stuffed, but oh no, it came alone, as indeed it should, for this dish is far too special to be sidetracked by anything else. Reminiscent of blackened cod but rather finer and more delicate, this was in fact the standout item of the night.
The wine list is interesting, the cocktail options even more so, but we stuck to prosecco as it’s the kind of place that make you want to do the bubbly stuff.