House Special

I always walk past House Special on my way to my facial clinic, but I’ve never had a chance to try them out. Well, M and I finally had a chance last month!


What we ate: Papaya Salad + Beef Jerky – Shredded green papaya, fresh herbs, Vietnamese pickles, peanuts, beef jerky; sweet soya vinaigrette ($10.00)

This dish was the highlight of the meal for me. It was sweet, salty, savoury and sour with ample ingredients. I really enjoyed this, and I would say it’s one of the best green papaya salads I’ve had in Vancouver.


What we ate: Pho Bo Vien Soup Dumplings (Pho Bot Luoc) – Handmade beef ball and pho broth xiao long bao; sriracha caviar, hoisin, micro basil, calamansi wedge ($10.00)

I was really looking forward to these because I love 小籠包 but these were the biggest disappointment. There was no soup on the inside (you can tell by how shriveled these look) and they were lukewarm at best when served. The calamansi wedge was cute though! I would not recommend this, even though it was so hyped on Instagram. Also maybe they tweaked the recipe because I don’t recall this having the sriracha caviar.


What we ate: Duck Noir – pan-seared duck breast, Vietnamese por boudin noir, cauliflower puree, seasonal veg, tamarind red wine reduction ($19.00)

This dish was also very average for me. The preparation of the duck wasn’t done properly. The fat wasn’t rendered properly so there was a lot of chewy bits that were a bit hard to swallow. Also, the skin was almost crispy, but didn’t quite make it. The boudin noir was fine, but the vegetables and the dish overall was just too greasy for my liking.

Would I come back? Probably not. Maybe my expectations were too high from the Instagram hype, but my visit was mediocre at best. Service* was spotty, and the food just didn’t impress enough to come back. Maybe we ordered the wrong things, but if it’s on the menu, shouldn’t it be good?

*When we arrived the entire restaurant was empty except for one table with a family of four. They thought it’d be a great idea to squeeze M and I into the table between the family and the wall. Thankfully they were accommodating when I asked to be seated at a table a bit further away. Another small blip was the water glass that I was served was absolutely filthy. There was unidentifiable bits floating in my water – not impressed.

House Special Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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