H.O.S.T. on Hope Street (see what they've done there) is an Asian fusion tapas place - a proposition that would normally strike the fear of God into me - run by the folk behind 60 Hope Street.
It's brimming with a trendy utilitarian vibe, and well meaning but somewhat dazed and confused (that you might want a plate, for example) young staff.
But the menu reads very promisingly and, on the whole, delivered on that promise for a pre-theatre fuelling.
Downsides first - the kicthen has an overly sweet tooth, which was evident in some spiced popcorn that tasted like Butterkist, kimchi which had none of the usual pungent rasp, and a tendency to put a caramel masterstock with everything. And squid was in a too-thick batter and had been over fried.
But a radish/pickled fennel/pomengranate salad was delish, as was the hot and sour beef salad (and very generous with the beef), duck gyoza, and chunks of belly pork in apple and miso. We also enjoyed salt and pepper chicken from the specials. So much so we ordered another ;)
If we had longer, then we would have tried the deep fried ham hock, the fresh summer rolls, and some of the bigger plates including the rendang and mussamun the next door table had.
Recommended. We're currently eating our way along the restaurant alley that is Hope Street, so more reports to follow. I also found myself on Bold Street (yep, I got lost) and saw the Korean place and the Lebanese street food. Anyone been?
I've had the same experience of Host having too many dishes which are sweet - I hate the fact that both of their regular belly pork dishes include caramel or other overly sweet filling-jangling sauces. But that belly in apple and miso sounds good - was it on the specials list?
Their salads are good and the hot and sour beef one is also a favourite. I am particularly addicted to their peanuts - coated in something sweet and spicey.
I've not been to the Korean place - I've always just assumed that it was one of those horrendous bargain buffet things. I've not seen the Lebanese street food one - sounds interesting.
Let us know how your mealsare on your travels
re: helen b
I've just been doing a bit of googling, and while I'm very mistrusting of the reviews on Tripadvisor (most of the reviewers seem so easily pleased - countless positive reviews of places serving rubbish - and the same goes for the mostly mindless reviews the Echo publish) the signs are good for both these places.
When you mentioned Korean on Bold St, I thought you meant the Korean Chinese buffet place called Yums ... Seoul Love looks a very different prospect. Bakchich looks good too. I wonder if they allow you to bring your own alcohol?
There are quite a few places appearing - we're going to try Neon Jamon in Allerton tonight - it sounds great.
It's been around for a little while now, but I've also enjoyed the food at Camp and Furnace, and while not every dish is a success (I am still a bit underwhelmed by the fad for pulled pork - it always seems so overly bbq flavoured - and I adore pork), they seem to know what they are doing in the kitchen and the roast dinners are fab. They also have some very interesting nights where they have several street food or pop up restaurant/food stalls inside the main factory building - we've had some excellent meals there. Very exciting place with loads of imagination.