Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Ho's Restaurant, Leeds

I had a monumental craving for noodles on Friday. I'm heading off on an exploratory pho mission this Friday, but just couldn't wait a whole extra week. Only a massive steaming bowl of noodles, meat and broth was going to satisfy. Ideally noodles of a substantial, carbolicious, chewy nature.

I'd noticed before that Ho's has an extensive menu in Chinese and wondered what delights it might be hiding beyond the standard stuff on the English menu, so thought I'd give it a try.

Things didn't get off to a very promising start, the conversation with the waiter going something like this:

Me: Is the Chinese menu different to the English one?
Him: Yes
Me: Has it got any noodle soup dishes on it?
Him: No
Me: Do you do any noodle soup dishes?
Him: Yes
Me: What?
Him: Duck or char siu or beef, thick or vermicelli egg noodle.
Me: (wishful thinking) Any hand pulled noodles or other noodles at all? What sort of broth? Any spicy versions?
Him: No. I can bring chilli oil.
Me: err ok, char sui and vermicelli then please.

When I say unpromising I don't mean to sound ungrateful, his English wasn't great and I think he was trying to help. Unpromising as I didn't think Ho's was shaping up to be the place of my noodle dreams.

So here's what arrived, and it certainly satisfied my craving. The noodles weren't brilliant, but were at least properly cooked so they retained bite throughout. The broth was a little one dimensional but still tasty in a generic umami sort of way. The char siu pork was the highlight, a generous serving, very tender and sweet, the marinade having permeated right through the flesh. A couple of stalks of pak choi rounded things off, providing a bit of colour and health.

Not bad, and reasonably priced at £7.50 for the noodle soup and £1 for a large pot of Chinese tea. There's a lot that warrants further investigation at Ho's though. They obviously don't specialise in soup noodles, but I'd like to know what's on the extensive Chinese menu, and I've a feeling all of the roast meats will be good. There's also a fairly extensive dim sum menu available at lunch and a bakery downstairs.

I grabbed a custard tart from the bakery on the way out, which turned out to be lovely. A light, eggy filling and exceedingly light, almost ethereal pastry. Really good. I'll definitely be back to sample the pork buns and the intriguing sounding sausage bread (as recommended by Jools, cheers for that).

6/10 for the noodles, but 8/10 for that custard tart

115 Vicar Lane


Becs @ Lay the table said...

Dim sum! Count me in!

We always walk past here and wonder what it's like but never had the balls to go in try it. The other ones across the road also look worth investigation.

Mr Noodles said...

This looks like an archetypal Cantonese joint down to the Chinese-language menu and taciturn waiters! It's a shame they don't translate the Chinese menu, or at the very least have one with photos. I can understand why they don't do it (hard work for little gain) but I think they should in order to get proper Chinese food out there.

I don't want to self-promote but I have a couple of general guides on my blog on Chinese Bakery http://bit.ly/JFp9aX and Cantonese BBQ http://bit.ly/IRcIa2 that might come in handy the next time you (or your readers) pop along to Ho's.

PS: Ho's appears to be very Canto/HK so it's unlikely to serve hand-pulled noodles, which is more a northern Chinese style of noodle.

Dave said...

Becs - it's definitely worth a visit, if only to take away some custard tarts for starters. Of the places across the road Thai Aroy Dee is outstanding. I've been there about six times (http://m62food.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/thai-aroy-dee-leeds-revisited.html). There's a Chinese place a few doors up that I need to investigate too.

Mr Noodles - thanks, very useful advice. I've read both posts, will take notes before returning to the bakery for more goodies! If you're ever in Leeds I like the roast meats on rice from here: http://m62food.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/maxis-rotisserie-leeds-kirkgate-market.html. Would be interested to hear if you think it's any good.

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