I know, I know! I am overdue for a restaurant review, as I had mentioned in the previous post, I have been dealing with an injury in the family. Now that I am able to get up and around it is back to business as usual. So what do we have for the chow hounds out there this month? I do like to get some variety on the blog, and not only cover my favorite Korean restaurants (http://www.catracing.org/hendrb/restaurant-review-gueimadang-bbq/, http://www.catracing.org/hendrb/repost-resturant-review-hong-choun-bolgolgi/), or sample the South Koreas Mexican cantinas. (http://www.catracing.org/hendrb/ono-dos-tres-quatro-seoul-mexican-restaurant-review-4-on-the-boarder/, and http://www.catracing.org/hendrb/repost-seoul-restaurant-review-tomatilla-2/)
This month, I thought I would review an “American” style Chinese Restaurant chain, called Ho Lee Chow. It comes as a shock to most of us when we discover that even what we would consider “ethnic” foods back home taste we taste radically different overseas due to different available ingredients, preparation and cooking methods.
Founded in 1989, Ho Lee Chow has found a niche by bringing “Western” flavored Chinese food back to Asia to become one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in Korea. With locations in Itaewon, Dogok, Yeouido, and Myeong-dong Jung Gu.
This was actually one of the first restaurants I was introduced to when I arrived in Korea and Mi Jung and I enjoy going back time and again. On this occasion we had the following dishes.
One of the first things you notice is that they serve Chinese Jasmine tea, instead of the more bitter green tea that you are served in most Korean resturants.
I normally order Tsing Tao beer, but the waiter recommended Harbin instead. Which ended up being a good choice, and the bottle was bigger as well. I was reminded by Mi Jung that I was served Harbin beer when we went out to dinner by the hospital she was convalescing in. However the taste was very different from what I remember. The beer she was referencing had a very distinct apple taste. This did not, however it was still good.
I started with a nice bowl of Hot and Sour Soup
For the Main course we had the following.
Ho Lee’s Beijing Beef (A spicy and tender beef dish that is one of our favorites.)
Ho Lee’s Beef Ho Fun (Egg noodle dish with tender marinated beef). This was the first time Mi Jung Tried this dish, she said it was good but needed a to be a little spicier. This is a strange comment coming from Mi Jung since she does not typically enjoy spicy food. Though I think we have been coming here so many times and mainly ordering the spicy dishes I that she has gotten used to it. When we introduced an Asian American former coworker to the restaurant and he ordered this dish, he was amazed that it tasted like authentic Beef Ho Fun. So you have two different perspectives on this dish.
We ordered another staple, Kung Pao Chicken. You cannot go wrong here, being a rebel I always eat the peppers.
Rounding out the main courses we had our favorite Fried Rice with Bacon and Shrimp. You have to get this dish!! It is so good that it would be a crime to come to Ho Lee Chow and not get this dish, you might also want to place an extra order to take home and have for a midnight snack!
So another great night at Ho Lee Chow, and you can bet that we will be back!!
You can get directions to their other restaurants, and their menu here :http://www.holeechow.co.kr/main/main.php
From Samgakji Station – Take line 6 to Itaewon station, go out way out 1 in front of the Hamilton hotel. Walk straight and walk up the Alley and make a left behind the hotel to Holy Lee Chow.
If you go by taxi, simply ask to go to the Hamilton Hotel and walk around back as described above.