I've been eating out a lot more than normal recently, which I've been really loving (it's always nice to be cooked for!) Last Tuesday I was very kindly invited to go and check out a new pop up - HOP Vietnamese. The lovely Liv from Grub Club was due to go, but after not being able to rearrange a meeting that clashed she asked if I wanted to go along instead. Which I did!
This was HOP's second pop up, at House of Wolf, a cool cocktail bar set over several floors on Upper Street, near Highbury and Islington. We were greeted at the door and taken to the 1st floor, where a man resembling Ludo Lefebvre from The Taste was serving up delicious cocktails. Sadly, as it was a Tuesday evening and the middle of an already busy week for me, I had decided to not drink, so I stuck to the non-alcoholic versions, which were still really good - refreshing and tasty. I had a raspberry mint fizz, but could've had a chilli and lemongrass Collins or a coconut crush.
Next up was starter #2 (!). Pork belly summer roll with hoisin and roasted peanut dip. A wonderful idea, that worked well. I love the lightness of summer rolls and the herbs contrasted perfectly with the fatty pork belly, and it was all brought together by the excellent dip. It had a really deep flavour to it, but didn't overpower any of the others.
Pudding was mango and coconut. I loved the flavours and they went really well as an end to the meal, but sadly I wasn't a massive fan of the texture of the pudding. But it must've been just me, as most people polished theirs off.
For details about when and where to find HOP next, check their Grub Club page here. It's a great evening out, and a chance to eat some really innovative Vietnamese food.