Ahh… we all cheat sometimes. For most of us, it’s the little things like lying about eating the last chocolate, or looking at your phone during a pub quiz (no, I just personally populate my team with super knowledgeable people and then argue with the quiz master, for the win). But sometimes, we cheat, and we cheat BIG TIME. Case in point- a boozy brunch without the Boozy Bunch.
I actually felt quite lucky that this wasn’t with the BB as I was feeling… a little delicate after going to a Whisky tasting event at Mac and Wild the day before with Grant and Andrew. If you know one thing about us Boozy Bunchers, it is that a tasting doesn’t end at the end of a tasting, it ends hours after the fact. Luckily one of my friends was getting over some chicken poisoning from a well known East London institution (near Columbia Road to be precise, apparently it is infamous for undercooked chicken and run by people who are more familiar with the fashion and beauty industry rather than the foodie world- I really cannot give you more clues than that) and the other 2 barely drinks (why were we even at a boozy brunch?) so I was in good company.
Ho Modern Vietnamese was very surprising on several fronts: firstly, I didn’t mention Coba (as you all know, my favourite London Vietnamese) more than once and secondly, they kept us there for 3 1/2 hours with their many many courses, amazing waiter and unlimited bubbly.*
I must say, without our waiter, our day could have gone south quite dramatically. In an extremely unboozy bunch like fashion, we actually had to ask them whether we could sub hot drinks for the bubbly. Our waiter was all, ‘heck no, you’re here to drink and I want you to have fun but (looks at us all pallid and sweaty) I’ll get you some hot water and lime to line your stomach’. And boy, that must have been the best hangover cure ever because Carrie (chicken poisoning girl) and I managed not only the delicious lychee bellini but also the magical, constantly full glasses of bubbly we had in front of us (as well as the unlimited hot limy water that our waiter was bribing us with).
The food- well, yes, obviously it wasn’t as good as Coba (duh) but it was pretty tasty. We started off with a selection of prawn crackers with a tomato-y chutney and some edamame beans while they prepared our melange (and seriously numerous) starters. Each diner was entitled to 3 good sized starters, meaning that we had 12 plates of food between the 4 of us. I think my favourite was the imperial roll (wrapped in lettuce and served with nuoc cham). They were all tasty but I thought the calamari could be more flavourful (and perched precariously on the rubbery fence) and the chicken wings could be more crispy before they drenched it in sauce (yes, I was expecting wings of the KFC** variety).
For mains we chose a combination of chicken curry and lemongrass chicken- this was served with a side of veggies (very well executed, and I wanted more!), and more importantly, hot rice (let’s not talk about the time I went to Nahm and they gave me frigging cold rice- that’s like a slap to the face to Asian people- never, ever serve cold rice! Except when it’s supposed to be cold). The two chicken dishes were both fine but nothing to write home about.
The dessert though- Oh. My. God. I was told it was some sort of ‘asian influenced’ deconstructed tiramisu. Well, it didn’t taste at all like tiramisu but it was crazy delicious. It was this amazing gingery flapjack drenched in syrup with a delightfully fluffy cream thing. Amazing, and I wished I had more. It was a testament of how good it was as we all pretty much licked the bowl and we were completely stuffed like a hog roast by that point.
All in all- fantastic service that was well paced and took their sweet time (yet never felt slow- our starters were served in 3 pipping hot services) with perfectly acceptable food and honestly unlimited bubbly. Go with your nearest and dearest- this is the kind of brunch you want to be able to talk through and not just eat.
*Our experience might be different from yours as we only sipped ours and they were happy to top up for hours. I reckon we only drank 2 glasses each but I was told it was way more.
**Korean Fried Chicken obviously…
***We got one of those Time Out vouchers- I’m not sure this is available off the street but was fantastic value for £29.
Sadly, we found out that Ho Modern Vietnamese is no more. In the meantime, you can visit House of Ho on Percy Street, who also offer these Time Out vouchers from time to time.
Ho Modern Vietnamese
55-59 Old Compton Street, W1D 6HW