A short while ago, I was invited to a very special evening at House Special in Yaletown. Together with Patricia Wong from Wanderlustfoodie and other members of the Vancouver food/event/blogging scene, we had a great evening tasting the latest additions to an already stunning menu.

House Special - Vietnamese - Foodblog - Outinvancouver

House Special is a modern, yet cozy restaurant in the hip Yaletown area. Inspired by vietnamese market fair and street food it offers a selection of lunch and dinner plates. The food is designed to enjoy in house but don’t worry House Special has you covered with their take out and delivery menu options if you are in a rush!

Chef Patrick Do and his crew are always experimenting with new flavours and are constantly creating stunning new dishes, so make sure to check for daily specials. To spice things up, they have been planning a few new items for their fall menu. They were finally ready to be presented to a very critical tasting panel, aka us.

We started this unique evening at House Special with a variety of appetizers including:

Mango Shrimp Salad Roll
Hand shredded mango, shrimp, jicama, peanuts, Vietnamese herbs, cucumber.

Garden Roll
Sautéed mushrooms and tofu, taro, jicama, vermicelli, carrot, lettuce, peanut, and Vietnamese herbs in a rice paper wrapper; vegan nước chấm.

House Special - Vietnamese - Foodblog - Outinvancouver

Pho Bo Vien Soup Dumplings
Bo vien beef ball, house special pho broth dumpling, sriracha caviar, hoisin caviar, cilantro

Compressed Watermelon Brochette
Sliced compressed watermelon, grilled octopus, sesame balsamic vinaigrette, cucumber

House Special - Vietnamese - Foodblog - Outinvancouver

Roasted Duck Endive Cups
Roasted duck, jicama, celery, hoisin, endive

House Special - Vietnamese - Foodblog - Outinvancouver

All of the appies tasted great and every single one had something unique and special to it. My absolute highlight were the Dumplings, what a fest for your taste buds! The meaty flavours from the beef, combined with the salty taste left from the broth and the hints from the spicy sriracha are working really well together. The ratio of spiciness was great throughout all dishes and never to overpowering, which I enjoyed a lot.

We devoured all the appetizers, just to find out that we had another 3 courses plus dessert ahead of us. Oh Lord, good job I only had a small lunch that day!

First on the list of main courses was “Cần Thơ-Ky” Fried Quail. Prepared with 18-herbs and spices, the Chef was very secretive about the ingredients that went into the preparation of the quail, however we got some info on the sides of this dish. It was served with vietnamese herb puree, braised pearl onions and to my mind two absolutely ingenious ideas: pickled grapes and sriracha jelly! The pickled grapes had a sweet and sour taste that paired incredibly well with the crispy texture and salty taste of the fired quail. The slightly spicy sriracha jelly was just perfect to round the dish up. Well done Team, this was an incredible dish and left me craving more!

House Special - Vietnamese - Foodblog - Outinvancouver

Next up was Canh Chua Ca, a sweet and sour vietnamese fish broth. The sweet and sour taste of the tamarind broth was intensified by pieces of pineapple, that added something refreshing to it. The fish of choice was cobia, which was prepared sous-vide and therefore perfectly tender and moist. It wasn’t my favourite dish of the evening and was lacking a little bit in flavour for my taste but it was still very enjoyable.

House Special - Vietnamese - Foodblog - Outinvancouver

Last but not least, my favourite dish of the night: Thit Heo. This is a traditional vietnamese dish, consisting of crackling pork belly, usually braised in caramel, giving it the incredible crispiness and slight sweetness. I am not sure how Check Patrick Do prepared this exact dish but crispy and slightly sweet are definitely two of the words I would describe this dish with. Every bite of the pork belly tasted like heaven, the mix of sweet and salty and the crackling texture was just unbelievable. Paired with cassava puree and a pea tip, fennel salad, this dish was the highlight of most of us that night!

House Special - Vietnamese - Foodblog - Outinvancouver

Of course an evening like this can’t end without dessert and so we got served the very last dish for the evening (thank god as I was almost bursting at this point!), which was Kem. For the less vietnamese versed amongst you, this is the vietnamese word for ice cream. In this particular instance it was vanilla and pandan flavoured and served with mixed che. Due to the pandan, it had a strong taste of coconut. Che is a traditional Vietnamese sweet pudding, made with beans, tapioca, fruit and coconut cream. It tasted very interesting, however I wasn’t a huge fan of the consistency that reminded me of rice pudding and the different flavours to be honest.

House Special - Vietnamese - Foodblog - Outinvancouver

Overall I had a great night at House Special, thanks Patrick Do for the glimpse into the new fall menu. The Crackling Pork Belly and the Fried Quali have to make it on the new menu, I would absolutely come back for it!

Have you been to House Special yet? Tell us what your favourite dish was in the comments below!

House Special

1269 Hamilton Street Vancouver, BC V6B 6K3, Canada

Phone Number: +1 -778-379-2939

Cuisine Type: Vietnamese

Website | View Menu | Make A Reservation

House Special is a conveniently located restaurant that will satisfy everyone who appreciates good vietnamese food. The dishes are ranging from smaller sharing plates to full plates, inspired by traditional vietnamese street food and market fair. With it's cozy, yet modern atmosphere it is a nice place to enjoy an evening in good company and with some mouthwatering food.
Value for Money65%
Food presentation70%
  • Does takeout and delivery
  • Good variety of vietnamese dishes
  • Nice patio
75%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

Reviewed on: September 26, 2016

About The Author

Hannah Breucker
Co-Founder and Editor

Hey, I'm Hannah Breucker from Munich, Germany but made Vancouver my new home and this food blog my new project! I love food and so I'm always on the hunt for new restaurants in Vancouver. But I also enjoy baking and cooking for my better half or friends. I am constantly trying out new recipes or improving old recipes, so if you love food as much as I do, come and join me on my food adventures!