This past Tuesday, I schlepped over to the Dogok branch of Ho Lee Chow, an American-style Chinese-food resto. I had been to the Itaewon branch a couple years back with my current boss, and I wasn't all that impressed with the General Tso's Chicken that I'd been served. I did recall that the appetizers were plenty good, though, so I decided to give the chain another chance. Here's what I had as part of a last hurrah before buckling down and dieting.
First up: hot-and-sour soup:
The soup was perfectly, recognizably American, which gladdened me. I'd been worried that there would be some sly Korean twist, but no: this was straight-up hot-and-sour soup, exactly like what you'd get in the States.
Next up: a shrimp-combo appetizer:
Piping hot and perfectly fried, the above combo was delicious. I'd definitely order both this and the soup again. Great contrast in texture between the crunchy exteriors and the soft, steaming interiors of both the spring rolls and the fried dumplings. The dipping sauces (pictured above, with the soup) were nothing special; the sweet-chili sauce was obviously from a bottle, and the mayonnaise-based sauce was especially weird, but it all somehow worked well with the appetizer. Big thumbs-up.
Lastly: a dish called "Beef Ho Fun" on the menu:
This was basically heavy pasta with stir-fried vegetables (mostly onions, alas) and thinly sliced beef. The meat's quality was good, but there just wasn't enough of it, and that deficit made me recall my problem with the General Tso's from two years ago: not enough protein.
Upshot: a disappointing (not to mention expensive at nearly W19,000) main meal, but great appetizers. If I ever go back to Ho Lee Chow, I now know what I must do: I have to treat the place like a tapas bar and just order nothing but appetizers. The resto also has wings and ribs à la carte, so that ought to solve the protein problem.