I’m usually the one in my office that organizes birthday lunches on my floor. I prefer to book Charcut because: 1) we can get in and out within an hour, 2) eat a filling and delicious lunch for $15, and 3) the restaurant is two blocks from our office. However, as I know most people are broke after Christmas, for my birthday lunch, I told Crown Royal to book our lunch at Ho Won.
We rounded up the troops and walked to Chinatown. Office Daddy helped me order in Chinese: Pea Tips ($15), Gai Lan ($10), Special Assorted Chow Mein ($9.99), Ginger Beef ($11.99), Salt and Pepper Squid ($11.99), Hot and Sour Soup ($9.99), Fried Rice ($8.99), and Beef Chow Fun ($8.99). There was so much food, we could have easily omitted a vegetable dish. Including tip, tax and my meal, everyone paid $15.00. Not bad at all!
The hot and sour soup arrived steaming hot, filled with lots of goodies like peas, meat, mushrooms, shoots and a few unknown items. EA Supreme and Leng Lui did not like the soup, probably because of the spice and heat. Crazy Girl, Office Daddy and I enjoyed the soup and drank most of it.
The ginger beef came out and was promptly devoured. Buzzy and EA Supreme gave the ginger beef two thumbs up. I think Ho Won make one of the better versions in the city, the flavour of ginger is pronounced and the batter is light and crunchy.
Another hit was the salt and pepper squid. The squid was tender and the trademark batter was brittle and melted on your tongue. Nice heat from the chili flakes. Portion was incredible for $11.99. Leng Lui said Golden Inn makes a better salt and pepper squid, but it is only open for dinner.
The noodles in the assorted chow mein was overcooked and quite oily. However, I did like the amount of seafood, Chinese mushrooms and boy choy in this dish. Perhaps I’m being so picky because by this time, as everyone at our table was already full.
The beef chow fun was tasty, though it was a little too heavy on the sprouts and oil and could have used more of that wok taste. Not one of Ho Won’s best dishes, but I love chow fun and wanted to order it.
I don’t have a picture of the pea tips because by the time it arrived, I was too much in a food coma to snap a photo. The pea tips one of the best dishes. The sauce was delicious. Office Daddy ordered it and requested a special sauce. It wasn’t the usual ginger and garlic sauce, but something with more of a kick to it. The pea tips were fresh and the shoots were tender. The gai lan was nice, though it didn’t compare to the pea tips.
Thanks to my office crew for taking me out for by birthday! We celebrate Queen B’s birthday tomorrow at Regency Palace, as she has a hankering for dim sum.