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.


As I was in Liv's place I was lucky enough to be sitting on a table of really inspiring people who all work in the food business - Monique Borst, a food business development expert, and some of her clients - Detox Kitchen, who provide healthy, meal plans delivered straight to you; Dana, who set up and runs Arganic, selling the finest Argan Oil (who bizzarley I used to work with in a completely unrelated company a few years ago); and the lovely Nicola from Sous Chef, a website that sells amazing cookware, hard to find ingredients and cookbooks.

HOP Vietnamese is run by Paul Hopper who, after travelling round Vietnam, wanted to bring some of the flavours and ideas back here, to recreate for us, and anyone who wants to go to one his pop ups. I believe his plan is to set up a permanent residence for HOP, more details to follow I'm sure.

Seated and settled, it was time for food - after all, that's why we were there! Let the feast begin...

First was an 'amuse bouche' (the largest amuse bouche I've ever seen) of prawn skewered on a lemongrass stick, that we wrapped in lettuce and herbs and dipped in a chilli sauce. Fresh and light it was the perfect start to the meal.

This was swiftly followed by starter #1 - a papaya salad with marinated duck breast, which was my favourite dish of the evening. The salad was zingy and full of flavour, a little sweet, a little sour, crunchy and soft, with perfectly cooked pink duck on top. The textures and flavour combos just worked. 

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.

On to the main course (whilst trying to tell myself I wasn't full yet!) The main was up there with the duck in terms of personal favourites. Chargrilled lemongrass beef with morning glory and fragrant rice. As I mentioned before I did find the portions to be a bit too big - I don't like to waste food but literally physically couldn't finish my main. I did eat all the meat and veg as it was so yummy, but had to leave a bit of the rice! The beef though was tender and succulent, and again, the flavours balanced perfectly with the slightly salted veggies. I loved the presentation of all the dishes as well.

I thought the table decoration, with branded place mats and postcards was a really nice touch, and Dana's colleague Valentine got all origami on us and made this!

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.



  1. The cocktails and food look lovely. I love pop ups gives the chance to try something new. Great post Lucy

    1. I was really impressed with all of it. They're pop up is really good. I think the tickets were less than £30 as well so not bad at all with all that food!

      Rosie xx

  2. yum yum yum. Looks amazeballs !

  3. Ooh, I'm your 50th bloglovin follower :) fell over your blog and it's so cute, I love it! xoxo

    1. Aw! Thanks!! And thanks for following :) hope you didn't hurt yourself when you fell over my blog!!

      Rosie xx


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