Monday, 30 August 2010

House, Surry Hills

I think it is accurate to say that House is the most blogged Thai eatery at the moment !!
This is probably the n-th post on House that you have stumbled upon if you search for "House, Surry Hills" on the web.
I myself had been to this place 4 times in the past 3 weeks, twice for dinner and twice just to have B.T.S late at night - and I thought the bathroom scale is playing up :P

Dinner Time Patrons

Sticky Rice in Bamboo Basket

The sticky rice came in this little bamboo basket, one tip though, do not leave the lid open, the rice do get dried out fairly quickly.
Scoop the rice out and close it back up immediately :)

Larb Ped
Traditional Issan salad of minced duck w/ eschalot, shallot, Vietnamese coriander, mint, ground roasted rice, ground chilli and lime

The killer salad....wish they have those "chilli" ratings on their menu like most Thai eateries nowadays. 
May look harmless except for the 2 dried chilli pods on top, but this is one very spicy salad >___<;
It is very nice though, packed full with herbs and heat *water !!*. When I had this on my first visit, I had to finish it because my friend just couldn't handle it after one spoonful. Me who will get bee stung lips when had too much chilli had to finish off it all. I went to work with plump lips the next day !

Nua Daed Deaw
Lightly deep fried sun dried marinated beef strip served with jim-jaew dipping sauce.

I was expecting this dish to be like the Chinese Rainbow Beef, where strips of beef are lightly battered and deep fried then drenched in some kind of sweet & sour sauce.
House's Nua Daed Deaw is none of that, it tasted more like deep fried strips of bakkwa ( Asian style beef jerky I suppose). It is quite moorish actually, just wished that there were more on the plate.
I ordered this dish again during the 2nd dinner visit and it seems like the portion was even smaller the 2nd time round.

Ping Lin
Grilled marinated ox tongue served with jim-jaew dipping sauce

Couldn't resist ordering it when we saw it on the menu. Unfortunately it was quite ordinary, once again the portion size was a little on the small side and the tongue was quite chewy.

Mok Gai Hua Plee
Steamed curry chicken w/ banana flower, eschalot, lemongrass, galangal and chilli.

Chicken curry steamed in a banana leaf ? As weird as it may sound, this is actually very nice. The chicken is very tender, some of my friends actually thought it was fish, it was that tender. It is more of a sweet curry than a spicy curry which was much welcomed amongst all the other spicy dishes. 

Gai Yang
Char-grilled marinated chicken served with jin-jaew dipping sauce

Gai Yang here is served on the bone, the marinated chicken is grilled whole then chopped up into piece and served with a couple of condiments. 
The chicken was tender and juicy, perhaps cooking them on the bone has it's bonuses :)

Tom Saap Kra Dook Aorn
Spicy soft pork ribs soup w/ lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, Vietnamese coriander, Thai sweet basil, lime and chilli.

We wanted to try out the soup (fine, I wanted it because of the pot it comes in), but were not game enough to try the egg embryo, or the chicken feet, or the tripes. 
We go for the safest option available - soft pork ribs.
The waitress who took our order asked how spicy would we want the soup to be, medium hot or hot ?
Naturally we asked for medium hot, knowing how spicy their mild looking dishes are :P
What is classified as medium hot is still VERY hot !! >___<;
The pork ribs were really soft you can actually eat the bones, just like crunching on chicken soft bone, that kind of texture.
The soup despite being very hot is irresistible, it was sour, hot and slightly herbal. The pot was dry by the time we finished, and so were the water bottles on our table.

Special of The Day
NZ Blue Eye Cod served with Dipping Salad

We were intrigued when the waitress mentioned the special of the day, "steamed and then deep fried NZ blue eye cod...".
Immediately all of us has this scene playing up in our head, oil splattering everywhere as the chefs deep fried the fish after steaming it, screaming chefs *ARRGHH*. 
Frying whole fish is already quite dangerous as it is, let alone steaming it (wet) then straight into hot oil *SPLASH!!*
Anyway, let's get out of the kitchen and back to the plate :P
Perhaps the 2 step cooking process is the way to go, the resulting texture is quite different. The meat is very sweet and soft while the outside is very very crispy. The dipping sauce that is made from lime, garlic and chilli goes really well with the fish. It is served with some raw salad that comes in handy when mopping up the dipping sauce.

There are 2 or 3 desserts listed on the menu, but leave that and go for the ones not on the menu - these 2 :

Cup "D"

It was hilarious when the waitress mentioned Cup "D" - she was actually doing the hand action as well, air cupping the imaginary bra ROFL !!  We just couldn't hold our laughter, what a funny waitress, she was laughing along with us of course LOL
What you get is not a pair of bra, but hot chocolate and black sticky rice souffle, topped with taro ice cream.
It is hard to savour and eat this dessert, as you would imagine, the ice cream doesn't take long at all to melt. So we have to scoff it down fairly quickly. 
It's not bad, but it is quite ordinary after you tasted the next one.....none other than Better Than Sex !!
Or as more commonly known as B.T.S., the G-Rated version of it's name.

Better Than Sex

The buttery thick brioche is grilled till it's caramelized, then topped with a generous scoop of pandan & coconut ice cream. That's not all, it is then drizzled with palm sugar and sprinkled with black sesame seeds.


This is one super addictive dessert, we would even brave the cold freezing nights just to go to House and have this. The combination of crunchy brioche and the smooth creamy ice cream is just simply amazing !! You just got to try this, if you haven't already by now :)
There is one thing that I find odd with the special desserts here, several occasion we were charged $12.50 per serve, then other times we were charged $15.00.
It is hard to tell which is the right pricing as they are not listed on the menu.

House doesn't take bookings, so if you are planning to dine with a group of friends, best to arrive early in the night or be prepared to wait for a table.

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