Trying to find good Chinese food in Korea is like trying to find a meal that doesn’t come with a side of kimchi. Being so close to China I always though that the chinese food would be great here, sadly I was very mistaken. It’s edible but it doesn’t taste like Chinese food from home or China, it’s just this unidentifiable slop in flavourless sticky sauces.
Luckily when living in Cheongju my first year, we did have a really great Chinese nearby which was frequented every time someone had a birthday or someone arrived or left (so basically once a week). It was in my second year that I finally discovered the phenomenon that is Ho Lee Chow. I had just moved to Suwon and didn’t know any of any westernised Chinese food there, I was craving some sweet and sour chicken and fried rice badly. I figured there must be one in Seoul somewhere, I just had to find it. After searching the internet furiously I finally found what I was looking for – “Ho Lee Chow”.
Ho Lee Chow is located on the 2nd floor of the Hamilton Hotel. I couldn’t believe it had been right there in Itaewon looking down at me all that time and had I only looked up I would have seen it. The food is American Chinese food, sadly not British so no chicken balls or bang bang chicken but a vast improvement on the Korean variety. There is a full menu on the website but they have all the usual suspects – springrolls, lemon chicken, Mongolian beef, sweet n’ sour chicken, ribs, General Tso’s, Mu shu pork, Kung pao chicken, fried rice and noodles. Prices vary from 9,900 – 16,500 per dish. One dish would fill a person easily so make sure to mix and match with your friends (or just order everything if your as greedy as me). Everything tastes exactly as it should, it will certainly satisfy all your cravings until you next get home. They will even wrap up your leftovers and let you take them home, my second favourite thing about ordering Chinese food.
They have 6 locations around Seoul (Itaewon, Yuido, Bundang, Dogok, Lotte world and Apgujeong. Full information and the menu can be found on their website. http://holeechow.co.kr/