London House・London Hous
Date of review: July 28, 2016 | Reviewed by: Kee Foong
If the name wasn’t already a giveaway, pictures of London Bridge and the Queen of England, as well as the Union Jack emblazoned on the stairs enforces the message that this is a homage to things British in the food and wine (or ale) department. Its location, however, is decidedly Hong Kong, in the East Tsim Sha Tsui restaurant strip along busy Salisbury Road, with Victoria Harbour on the other side. Downstairs is the main bar and terrace, which attracts an after-work crowd there for a pint and quick bite, and where a live band performs in the evening. Upstairs is the casual dining room done in English pub style.
London House is a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, but don’t expect fine dining, the concept here is simple, solid pub food. The menu is short and focuses on classic British comfort food. Bucking the trend is an Italian-style starter of tomato salad with creamy burrata and basil pesto, which is a light and refreshing alternative to the heavier dishes on the rest of the menu. Potted crab is the English take on pate and is served in a ceramic jar. Inside is a good amount of crab meat coated in a buttery sauce that could do with a more lemony tang. The accompanying seaweed toast is chewy and not suitable for people with dentures. Our beef burger is on the tough side but has good flavour, helped in large part by the melted cheddar cheese and parsley jalapeno mayonnaise, which gives it a welcome spice kick. It wouldn’t be a proper pub meal without traditional fish and chips, and ours comes as big chunks of battered cod and hand-cut chips. The batter is heavy and the fish on the mushy side, but will satisfy diners craving deep-fried food. Sticky toffee pudding is usually a crowd-pleaser and sits in a sweet and buttery Muscovado caramel sauce. It lacks the richness of truly good versions, but is not bad either, and what you would expect from a Brit pub.
The wine list carries mostly mid-tier and mid-priced wines from around the world. Each wine comes with helpful tasting notes to make up for not having a sommelier. Our glass of Charles Audoin Marsannay rosé is fruity and easy on the nose and palate, but is not adequately chilled. Gin lovers are well catered for, with more than a dozen types to choose from.
The restaurant was quiet on the day of our visit and there were plenty of staff on hand. There were no major issues with the service, nor was it particularly outstanding.
A three-course meal and a glass of wine each comes to about $1,200 for two, which is reasonable.