Reviews of House
Not a lot of people know this, but House at Surry Hills is sort of the quiet big sister of the famous Spice I Am a few steps away across the block. I say big sister because compared to Spice I Am, the restaurant has very large dining areas, with quiet and intimate indoor seats and even more outdoor and terrace seats perfect to when you want to enjoy the sun during lunch breaks.
Then there are staffs at are a little friendlier than ones you deal with at Spice I Am.
My friend and I visited House one afternoon for a quick lunch takeaway. The food was prepared quite quickly. I ordered the Hainan Chicken Rice and it was reasonably priced (at that time it was $10). It tasted clean, delicious and properly portioned, although I would not say that it was certainly the best one I have ever had.
I don't think the food is as good.
However for $10, the various Thai options for lunch are great, plenty of variety, and its quite tasty. The service was quick and polite.
I've been here for dinner too, and if you dining here you must try the dessert - its the bomb.
The worst customer service experience I had.
The food was terrible, the curry wasn't even cooked properly.
Not concerned about food being bad but they are putting the whole experience of Thai food down for someone who is eating first time.
I have Thai food all my life but thi place is the worst.
Time and money waste.
It's what's different about this place that makes it special. If you're coming looking for a Pad Thai or Char Siu noodle or similar, you're fresh outta luck.
North Thai "Street Food". It feels pretty different to what we're used to in Australia from Thai restaurants. And I for one, am glad for it.
Be bold, be adventurous. Try something new. Last night I had deep fried marinated beef with Jim-Jaew dipping sauce, Gai Yang (yummy succulent grilled chicken), Jack Fruit salad & a salted fish dish with sticky rice - complimented with spicy sauces. Yum!
I'm a fan of the food. And I think you can be too. What I'm not a massive fan of is a) the service, and b) the drink ordering system. Seriously, they need to get their act together there.
Table service is a bit flaky and the major disappointment on this front is that staff aren't able to easily converse about the different food options and guide you with making selections or explaining foods that you may not be familiar with. This is a let down if you're adventurous but naive, and the selection process can easily revert to a pointing at pictures on the menu.
Also, the venue is licensed (really reasonable prices for wine) - but you can't order it from the table. You have to go inside to the attached dismal bar and order from there to carry it back to your table. Not sure if this is some weird liquor licence restriction - but, as a diner it diminishes the experience and you feel a bit like you're in an RSL pub.
To finish on a positive note... love the food, love the prices. Have been before, and will definitely go again. Lots of big table options for large groups, or smaller tables for couples. Be adventurous. Dive in!
p.s. Cash Only. Takeaway available.
Just checked out House. Been keen to go for ages as a huge fan of Spice I Am, their sister restaurant just up
the road. For a Saturday night it wasn't that busy. About 50% full. For entree we tried the crispy beef strips, pork skewers and for mains the grilled chicken and banana chicken curry. In short it was ok, but a little disappointing. Firstly the sticky rice and noodles ordered with the mains arrived first. The sticky rice was so sticky it came out in one clump. It seemed dry and not that appetizing.
The entrees and mains were ok - there is no doubt this is provincial North Thailand food. Interesting, but left me wanting and expecting more.
Would we go back. Maybe, but with a group of friends who want to try something new perhaps. Or maybe we'll stick to Spice I Am.
Opening in 2010 to a whole lot of hype, House is indeed from the same guys from Spice I Am, as you've probably already heard. Don't go expecting another Spice I Am spin-off though, as this place is completely different from the other two. But it's still equally good in its own way, and in fact I think it's one of Sydney's best new Thai restaurants. The decor doesn't exactly exude atmosphere and it's a bit bright, but it's modern and clean, and awesomely cheap and BYO. Plus there's a cute verandah fronting onto Elizabeth st, which is where you'd want to be on hot summer nights. The food is Northern Thai street food, so there's no prissy ordering of starters or sides - you just get what you get. It's the perfect kind of food to share, and amazingly tasty, though really pretty spicy, so you'd better bring your gutsiest friends and a few bottles of wine to wash it down.
I wanted to like this restaurant more than I did. Really. There's actually nothing much to fault this restaurant on. The food is well cooked and presented, the decor is modern, fresh and clean, the restaurant is spacious, and the waitstaff are courteous, polite and efficient. Also the food arrives quickly after ordering. At most restaurants this would be enough to keep people coming back.
The problem I think was my expectations. Firstly, the hype surrounding this restaurant as it's owned by the same people as Spice I Am. And secondly the menu itself. As other reviewers have mentioned, the menu is Northern Thailand street food. That sounds pretty exotic but unfortunately when it comes down to it some of the food seems derivative of other asian cultures. For example, BBQ roast pork, braised pork, roast duck (all Chinese staples) and pork schnitzel (Japanese). The remainder of the food was unusual, which I am guessing means that it was authentic street food, and whilst well cooked, didnt stand out as delicious and exciting. Perhaps the best dishes were the roast chicken and the deep-fried blue cod.
Yes it's run by the Spice I Am people, but it's a different menu offering Northern Thailand dishes (note: no pad thai). Still the decor is an improvement and the service was so much better than before. We ordered a variety of dishes off the menu and everyone was happy with their food. The hot food does pack a punch, so beware!
I was really looking forward to eating here being the people behind Spice I Am. People could probably describe the menu here as a little more adventurous than Spice I Am. The salads all look delicious, I had a shrimp, pork and calamari vermicilli salad that was great. If you're asked if you want something hot, be really sure you can handle the heat, because hot means hot.
They've made a location that's not very nice (alongside Surry Hills' dingy Triple Ace Bar)look quite decent and when we approach summer I can see myself having many meals in the large outdoor area.
It's also really reasonably priced.
I should have found out if they do take away!