Leicester House, London


The property that was formerly the St John Hotel and One Leicester has reopened as Leicester House. Located handily behind the main stripe of Chinatown, East meets West is the concept for the restaurant with 50 cover (as well as being a 17 bedroom boutique hotel).


Food is described here as "Colonial Vietnamese", a fusion of French and Vietnamese. You will not find phởbánh cuốn nor bún chả here. But you can order a bánh mì, a Vietnamese style baguette sandwich (it's not on the photo of the menu that I took, the menu online does have bánh mì).

Prawn Crackers

A complementary nibble of spiced prawn crackers to start the meal overflowing the little bamboo steamer basket.

Venison, Muối Tiêu, Asparagus, Black Radish

Blackened Squid, Salt, Pepper, Lime,Chilli

From the small plates section, we had the venison and the squid. The venison dish is more like a salad, with venison cooked rare and sliced then mixed with asparagus and black radish and finished with a Muối Tiêu dressing. From a quick Google search, Muối Tiêu is a salt, white pepper and lime dressing with chillies. The pungent dressing brings the venison dish alive with saltiness, tartness and a hint of heat along with crunchy texture from the vegetables. The squid was tender with lots of samphire and the touch of lime brings a sour note at the back makes this dish equally as tasty as the venison. Vietnam is not fame for the use of chillies like its neighbour Thailand, so do not expect fearsomely heat from the food.

Proscuitto di Parma, Jesus du pays Basque, Saucisse seche, Salamella al fegato,


The charcuterie may seems a bit of a mismatch from a Vietnamese food prospective. It is a plate of French and Italian flair of cured meats. It was not particularly outstanding, if the white sourdough bread was not toasted and burnt it would have been much more enjoyable. The pickles that was served on the side was out of synced with the charcuterie but it was still tasty on its own.

Bone broth, Pork collar, Crab wonton

Green Papaya, Daikon & Cashew Slaw

The bone broth with the crab wonton was superb. The bone broth is packed with flavour, rich and dense with chunks of pulled pork. It could easily make a prefect broth base for a bowl of noodles. The wonton does not lack in the crabmeat filling, the only complain is only two wontons are served in the broth which does not justified the £12.50 price tag. On the side was a green papaya, daikon and cashew slaw. It is very similar to the Thai "som tam" green papaya salad minus the breathing fire bit. The sweetness to the slaw makes it unstoppable to munch on.

Salt Baked Pineapple, Kampot Green Peppercorns, Champagne Kaffir Lime Sorbet
Bitter Chocolate Pot, Hazelnut cha fee
Beignets Vanilla Cream, Nibbed Cocco, Coconut

When the meal was drawing to an end, the chef brought out complimentary desserts. It was not just one dessert, it was the whole dessert menu. The pineapple was refreshing with a very light lime sorbet bringing the sweet and sour balance together. The chocolate pot was presented like a cup of cappuccino, the top is filled with chocolate and hazelnut foam which until you dug into the bottom the chocolate appeared. The beignets was the firm favourite, very similar to doughnuts. In fact it was like a freshly made doughnuts as it was still warm when it was served. Along with the desserts, we had a flat white and a green tea (it was a sencha).

It was a hit and miss on the food, the quality varied wildly and perhaps they can upped the quantity of the wontons. It felt as though it was a contemporary approach to Vietnamese cuisine that went out of synced with the French. The service was friendly, casual and attentive. If the bone broth is turned into a bowl of noodles with the delicious crab wonton (with more than two), it is definitely worth returning for.

Score Rating: 3/5
Price: ~£30/40/head (Soft launch, ~£58 for 2 people)

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