Ho Lee Chow 홀리차우
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3 stars
  • Good
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  • Ambience
    Editor: 80%
  • Food
    Editor: 75%
  • Service
    Editor: 70%
  • Value
    Editor: 40%

Review Summary:

Delicious Chinese cuisine has infected the world like a benevolent virus. The early immigrants to the first Chinatowns overseas went through many hardships and it's likely that their cooking skills played a critical role in helping them to respectfully survive in their new home countries. The flavours of authentic Chinese cooking across the globe changed as cooks adapted to local preferences and regional ingredients. Interesting self-reflections of the host country can now be seen in many dishes, from fried ice cream to pineapple cooked with chow mein.

Ho Lee Chow is an American Chinese restaurant chain with a few outlets around Seoul. They're one of a very few number of establishments willing to sell Chinese food that consists of things other than jajangmyeon, which is a Korean interpretation of Shandong fried noodles. Funnily enough, Korean style jajangmyeon is becoming popular as a foreign food in China. American Chinese food has also evolved from its origins, with dishes like sweet and sour pork, lemon chicken and Szechuan beef being staple favourites. These are all available at Ho Lee Chow, along with a complimentary pot of black tea. The photo above shows their interpretation of beef char kway teow, which we ordered out of pure curiousity.

Char kway teow, being a dish we specialised in at the Casuarina Malaysian Bistro in Adelaide, is difficult for me to consume without some degree of overanalysis. To be nice, these ones weren't too bad, but realistically they fell short of the real deal. They had a fairly good smokey flavour from a high temperature wok and the beef was quite good. But the noodles suffer from being reconstituted from the dried import form and there was an overabundance of two kinds of onion. Char kway teow really needs fresh noodles.

Still, they get full marks for being the first place in Korea to offer the dish in the first place.

The other main dish that we ordered was fried aubergine. I like using the word aubergine as much as I like using courgette. This was quite good, with a tangy base for the sauce and not overly greasy from the deep fryer. The trick for crispy rather than greasy foods is to make sure the oil is searing hot when you pull the food out of it. That way it will be highly motile and can be easily drained with a sieve. Colder oil sticks to the food due to its viscousity at lower temperatures.

We also ordered hot and sour soup, a personal favourite. This was also done well and I enjoyed the bamboo shoots. Heather quite liked the food here and the service was quick and friendly.

For those missing Chinese flavours from home, Ho Lee Chow is worth a visit.

Reviewed by Lee Ferrand
Cuisine: American Chinese
Reservations: Optional (takes reservations but not needed)
Suggested Items: Chinese greens, hot and sour soup, fried eggplant.

Other Amenities: English menu, loyalty program, decent alcohol selection.

Phone: Check map


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