My very first visit was back in 2013, when it was opened by TV celebrity Bobby Chinn and known as House of Ho. This Pan-Asian joint in Soho has now been rebranded as Ho Modern Vietnamese, with the menu now being overseen by Chef Ian Pengelley.
We popped in on a Monday for a quick lunch when it was not too busy. The restaurant interior is quite dark so I usually prefer the seats by the windows at the front. For drinks, I opted for the Rum Yum Dragon which was sweet, fruity, and not too full-on for a cheeky afternoon tipple, whilst Ge went for the Swordless Samurai, an innocent fruity mocktail which was topped with a pretty floral garnish.
The menu consists of some nibbles to start with, a selection of Pho, Salads, Small Sharing Plates, Rolls, Ho's Signature Sharing Plates and some sides.
We shared three dishes between the two of us. The first was the shredded chicken pomelo salad which was served in a bowl with vegetable 'noodles', mint leaves, sesame seeds, toasted peanuts, crispy shallots and some prawn crackers. A light and refreshing salad which was vibrant and had nice textures - I liked the flavours but it could potentially be a bit salty for some as was for my friend. I particularly liked the juicy pomelo bits that added sweetness to it.
The second dish was the pan fried smoked duck with black sticky rice, orange miso and young vegetables. The duck was slightly overcooked and could have been a bit more tender. There was a nice sweet and salty flavour balance of flavours to it and I liked the black sticky rice which was wrapped in a thin cabbage leaf parcel. The spring onion was however under-cooked and too close to being raw to be enjoyed.
Our third dish was the crispy whole sea bream with lemongrass, ginger and coriander, which was my favourite dish. The fish was crispy and golden and came with a tasty sweet dipping sauce on the side. Delicious crunchy textures and definitely one to order if you enjoy fish.
For dessert, we shared the warm green tea chocolate pudding with passion fruit and vanilla ice cream. The pudding was served nice and warm and the liquid centre immediately oozed out when cut through - a bit runnier than what I have had with other puddings, but nonetheless sweet and indulgent, and the flavours of the green tea definitely came through.
Overall, apart from the minor points that I mentioned, it was a pretty satisfying meal and our waiter was really lovely throughout. I can only comment on the dishes that we had, but the menu is quite extensive which you can view online here.
They also have a sister restaurant, House of Ho, in Fitzrovia, which I have not been, which is set in a four storey townhouse, and also offers contemporary Vietnamese food.
The Cheekster, signing out x
The meal was complimentary, but views remain my own.