Huis (Flemish) – Hooey; Hoyse; Hoose; Hoo-is; Hew-is… I’ve heard lots of different pronunciations of it (and I’m pretty sure they have too) but however you want to say it, I have the correct one … House!
Huis is a Belgian bar and kitchen on Elm Grove in Southsea. They serve an amazing amount of different drinks, mainly Belgian beers of course of which there are over 60! Some in bottles, some on draught, dark beers, blonde beers, amber beers, fruit bottles, sour bottles, white bottles, I don’t even know what those all are. Apart from beers there are spirits, wines and soft drinks, again plenty of both to choose from .
The interior of Huis is supposed to be like a 1960’s living room. Perhaps in Belgium because I don’t recall my parents living room ever looking like this. Not that it matters, if I hadn’t read it on their website I’d be none the wiser. It was pleasant enough and comfortable too.
There were five specials available as well as quite an extensive menu. I almost had the summer salad special as it looked so good on Instagram and sounded delicious but I seem to be living on salads at the moment so went for the halloumi rosti instead. Geoff chose the Wiener schnitzel.
Geoff loves beer and but he’s not normally a fan of Belgian beer, which is one reason why we’ve never eaten here before now. Seeing some of their new dishes on Instagram made me want to visit.
Geoff had their Huis (house) beer whereas I went for a banana beer. I don’t drink beer but decided that I should seeing as they specialised in it. It wasn’t bad actually, it smelt and tasted very banana-ery.
Wiener schnitzel: Vienna style pork schnitzel, Huis Pilsner breaded, topped with a free-range fried egg, served with bacon & onion fried potatoes.
I asked Geoff what he thought of his meal. ‘Filling’ and ‘very nice’ he replied. A man of little words I’m afraid. ‘A hearty meal’ he added, after I’d rolled my eyes.
Belgian radio played in the background with music and also commentary on the Tour de France. We couldn’t understand what was being said apart from riders names being mentioned and when watching it that evening found out why. I think it was nice to hear the Belgian radio because so many times I’ve been to an Indian restaurant, for example and they’ve not played Indian music which is daft.
Halloumi rosti: seasonal vegetable rosti, butternut squash purée, fried halloumi, parsnip crisps, almonds and honey.
The rosti said it was made with ‘seasonal’ vegetables which happened to be leeks, carrot and courgette.
The butternut squash purée had a mild curry taste to it which I wasn’t expecting but it went well. The parsnip crisps were very nice with a honey glaze on them. The whole dish tasted very fresh and was well presented. We ordered some chips to share and they were very good too especially dipped into the Huis Mayo.
Geoff took a while to decide on a dessert and settled for the Mikado waffle. But you don’t like waffles! I said. I haven’t much choice have I?, he replied. I took another look at the dessert menu and apart from waffles there wasn’t anything else. I don’t like waffles either.
I must say that if they didn’t have the specials dessert (and we’d not know that the food was as good as it was) we probably wouldn’t have bothered going to Huis at all. Now we do know however, when we visit again we’ll go elsewhere for dessert. But Belgium must have desserts other than waffles surely?
Whilst waiting for our desserts we happened to look out the window and saw the name on the building opposite. The Mikado waffles were not named after the Mikado Buildings opposite, apparently. Just a coincidence. I call it spooky.
My dessert was lovely. I don’t generally go for a sundae as I find them too large and don’t like lots of ice cream. Why did you order it then I hear you cry? Well, I didn’t read the specials board properly as I’d seen the sundae on Instagram (with a Lotus biscuit on top which mine didn’t have but I’ll let that one go as it was SO filling) and it looked quite small. I didn’t realise it was a ‘sundae’. It was delicious but personally I would’ve preferred perhaps a half portion instead or shared it, although Geoff wouldn’t have liked it. The ice cream was from local Bere Dairy (in fact I know the farm where the milk comes from) a scoop each of both cinnamon and vanilla, which were very nice, so too was the ‘hard cream’ which was very thickly whipped double cream. At the bottom was lots of crushed Speculoos biscuits.
We enjoyed our meal at Huis, which had a laid back kind of feel to the place. The service was very good and friendly and there were plenty of people dining on our Friday lunch time visit. Also I think I spied some games on the back wall in case you get bored.