Tuesday, 18 July 2017


We have visited Host up on Hope Street in Liverpool several times in the past and we had always had a great time. It was slightly surprising then when we realized that it had been quite a while since we had ventured through their doors. That changed one evening when we bought tickets to see a show at the nearby Everyman theatre and having looked at the what seemed to be completely new menu on their website from the one we had last time we came we decided to go and see if their treats were still as good as what we remembered. Off we went on a warm Saturday evening with great expectations!

The inside of Host seemed different from what I remembered. It appeared more bright and airy with the large front windows offering great people watching views of Hope Street outside. We had booked a table what with it being a Saturday evening and were taken over to a window seat decorated with a pretty cherry blossom style feature before being promptly presented with the menus by our chirpy server. The menu seemed a lot more geared towards the ever increasingly popular street food small plate style of dishes and it was hard to choose what to order as they all sounded delicious.

Host offers a range of Asian fusion style dishes and it was great to see there were plenty of choices for vegetarians too. The first plate we went for was the vegetarian bao buns. The dish came to the table really quickly which was great as we were most peckish. The bun was light and fluffy as any good bao bun should be. The mushroom filling inside was delicious but we did find the tofu to be slightly bland which was a shame. They would of been stellar if they were just stuffed with that yummy mushroom filling! Saying that, this would transpire to be the only real negative to our meal.
For our next vegetarian plate we went with the intriguingly named "Paper Thin" salad. What arrived at the table was a bowl full of the most pretty looking shaved slices of multicolored treats. There was strips of beautiful lightly pickled beetroot and carrot which had a satisfying little crunch to them despite being paper thin. The crunch was further amplified by white and black sesame seeds tossed through the salad giving everything a satisfying pop. The mooli was the star of the salad however, super light and refreshing it really made the bowl a tasty surprise.

Now when we are talking about Asian fusion we aren't just talking about the Far East as our final veggie selection was the Indian onion bhaji. Proper hungry person sized they were and I love it when you can actually taste good proper chunks of onions in a bhaji rather than it being all stodgy batter and they definitely delivered in that respect. Lightly flavored with Asian spices, they were served with a stunning cucumber and mint dip and really complemented them, pushing them up to the level of superstar. Forget your veggie bao and just order yourself a load of these bad boys instead!

What about the meaty dishes though? Well I ordered a trio of delights starting with the Thai chicken tacos. Continuing my current love affair with peanut sauces after our trip to Singapore, this unique fusion of Asian and Mexican food was different but yummy. The satay like sauce had a nice gentle peanut flavour to it and the chicken was cooked perfectly although it wasn't really that spicy as it's described as on the menu. The crunchy tacos add a great crispy texture to the dish and it's definitely something to order if you just like to get stuck in with your hands and get a little bit messy.

Next up to arrive at the table were the soft shell crab bao buns. I adore soft shell crab and I'm always  likely to order them if I see them on a menu in a restaurant and Host's version did not disappoint. The tempura batter on the crab was light and crispy whilst the actual crab flesh was juicy and moist just as soft shell crab should be. Much like the veggie bao, the bun was light and fluffy whilst a crispy seaweed garnish offered a nice touch of saltiness to counteract with the wasabi in the yummy mayo hidden inside the bun. A total must have for any seafood lover in your party!

The star of the whole meal for me was my final main dish, the deep fried ham hock square. These little cubes of porky goodness were delicious. Each cube was proper stuffed with juicy salty ham hock which was balanced with the sticky and sweet caramel glaze that was trickled over each cube. On top of each cube sat a little sprinkling of shallots and chili to add a smidge of a crunch and the slightest touch of chili heat to add that little finishing touch to the plate. Five cubes is a hefty portion for a small plate but you'll get through them with no problem. I could of probably eaten five more!

You would think that after all these small plates there would be no room for dessert. Well you would be wrong! Desserts were ordered and brought over to the table in no time at all. I went for the coconut and lime pannacotta. It arrived looking slightly melted which was slightly unnerving but it was wobbly and smooth, I think it was just on the verge of set. Whilst it looked slightly off putting on the plate, I can't deny that it tasted delicious and the little teardrops of meringue added a nice bit of crunch to contrast texturally to the pannacotta. Not perfect but still a great little pud!

Our second pudding however was spot on. It was a great big slab of Vietnamese coffee flavored parfait and it was amazing. The coffee flavour of the parfait itself was strong enough to come through as it melted in your mouth but not too overpowering that it just killed your taste buds. It set upon a bed of chocolate soil and we all know that chocolate and coffee is a combination that works well and the same applies here. We would of liked more soil but there was just enough to add a smidge of crunch to each spoon full of parfait. This was a proper pud that left us with a smile on our face once the last morsel was devoured.

With smiles on our faces and a show to catch it was time to leave and enjoy the rest of our evening. Host is still rocking it up on Hope Street. The new menu is delicious, service was quick and easy from all the friendly team we encountered and we left knowing that this would not be the last time we would be coming. Their Asian fusion dishes are a treat and you wouldn't be doing wrong if you decided that this would be the place to Host your next fabulous meal in Liverpool! 

To find out more about Host, look at their scrummy menu or to book a table click here to head over to their website!

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