Tradition and invention come together in a perfect cultural collision at Hochi Mama. Age-old Vietnamese cooking techniques are met with hip culture and experimental flavours – and boy does it work. These guys balance the authentic with the contemporary, resulting in fusion dishes that'll take your breath away.
Fusion cuisine at its finest
As you check out the options at Hochi Mama you'll find a little bit of everything. Culinary superstars and unknown underdogs. Dishes you recognise and dishes you don't. There'll be a twist here and an exciting surprise there. Even the menu is divided into small dishes and larger dishes rather than starters and mains to allow for more flexible dining.
You can get a good idea of what they're all about by looking at goodies like the Crunchy Chicken Bao. A traditional soft, white bun is filled with Hochi fried chicken, while the Korean kimchi – A.K.A. spicy pickled cabbage – and the fermented chilli beans provide a nice kick.
Basketball and hip-hop?
Great restaurants tend to have great stories – and Hochi Mama is no different. Raymond Phan, Midawell Phal and Thai Ho are three buds who grew up on a diet of basketball, 90s hip-hop and a lot of Vietnamese food. After running nightclubs for a few years, they returned to their first love – food. And we're glad they did. But their clubbing days weren't that far behind them, so they combined their restaurant brainchild with the sort of panache that you'd expect from the smart nightlife scene. The result is Hochi Mama, an eatery that's informal yet stylish, laid-back yet exciting, traditional and inventive all at once.
But back to the important stuff. For a real treat, we love the Saigon Fried Rice with Pork Belly. Traditional fried rice is jazzed up with apple, crispy beans and mixed herbs. Now comes the glorious part – the caramelised pork belly. And it doesn't end there, this wonder is topped off with a soft boiled egg. If that's a bit too rich for you, there's always the Rice Vermicelli Noodles Saigon Chicken too.
They've also got loads of great vegetarian options here too, so you can kickstart your feast with some classic veggie-packed spring rolls, move onto some Banh Mi Sliders for a refreshing Vietnamese salad in a toasted brioche bun, and round off your meal with one of our favourites, the Vegetable Mushroom Pho. That's the traditional noodle soup that we all know and love, served up with bean sprouts, Vietnamese mint, a lemon wedge and hoisin sauce.