Late last year I heard a lot of talk about a new restaurant opening up on South Sherbrook Street. It was a small little place without many seats that would be serving Asian Fusian cuisine. The name of the place was Khao House. The first time I tried to visit happened to be at a time when they were closed between lunch and dinner, there was a note explaining that service had been so large, that they needed to replenish before opening for dinner. So, I took note of the hours and decided to come back at a later time.
Hearing how busy the place is, I decided that my best bet would be to be there the moment the doors opened. I suppose I could always make a reservation, but where’s the fun in that. So, I showed up on the stroke of 4:30 pm and sure enough there was no problem getting a seat.
Khao House is located, appropriately enough, in an actual house. When you enter the space is not unlike a large living room. Along the front windows there are stools at a counter, and scattered about the room there are a few two and four top tables.
My first time around, I chose to sit at the window counter, and watch the traffic as it passes by on Sherbrook. One thing I like about the menu is that it isn’t very large. There is a nice variety of items but not so many that it’s difficult to know where to start.
The Ramen was one of the items that I had heard a lot about, so I made that my order. The noodles have good consistency and chew to them, and the egg was well prepared, just at that point between soft and hard boiled. It made for a quick and easy light supper.
Khao House Escape from the Cold
It took me awhile before I made it back to Khao House a second time. However, I thought that since yesterday temperatures were approaching absolute zero, it might be a good time to find a seat without too much trouble. Turns out I was correct. This time I was seated at a little two top at the foot of the stairs.
This time I went with a starter and a salad. For the starter I chose the Kalapao. This is a steamed bun, with pork sausage, black fungus mushroom and egg. Unlike the Ramen the egg in this dish is hardboiled. Much easier for eating with chopsticks.
I found the bun a little on the doughy side compared to similar creations I tried, but the filling was top notch. Even better it comes with house made chili sauce. This sauce contains, both, a lot of flavour and a goodly amount of heat.
When my Kalapao was finished, I was brought my salad. This is Laap, a meat salad. I like my salads, especially when they come with lots of meat in them. The main meat in this salad is beef liver. Now, I’m not a huge liver fan. This comes from childhood, when it was served up in it’s toughest and least flavourful forms. However, that’s not the case here. The liver is tender with the strong flavour muted somewhat.
I tried it with a some of the hot chili sauce and some of the fish sauce. I liked the salty character that the fish sauce brought to the dish, as it took away even more of the liver flavour’s strength.
As I ate my way though the Laap I noticed a patter emerging on the plate, and as I finished I discovered a Norman Rockwell print as part of the plate design. This brings a touch of North America to the largely Asian cuisine, and makes Khao House seem just a little bit homier.
Last night the restaurant was having a special on cocktails. As well, they were offering a hot chocolate special, a good idea on a cold night.
The service is quite good. The staff is knowledgeable about the food and looks after things such as water refills quite readily. The only slight problem (one of my pet peeves) is that yesterday’s server responded to every comment out of my mouth with the word “perfect.” Having said that, you should head down the south end of Sherbrook and give Khao House as try.