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“A very pleasant evening”
Review of Ho's Palace

Ho's Palace
Ranked #21 of 36 Restaurants in Blackheath
Cuisines: Chinese
Restaurant details
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A very pleasant evening”
Reviewed July 30, 2014

We have been coming to Blackheath for many years, and a beer in the pub and a meal at Ho's has always been part of the sojourn. I was a little concerned when reading the latest reviews, re Ho's as we have always enjoyed the food in the past.
We were delighted to find it unchanged..yes some may find the decor a little tired, but we love it. The food was fresh and tasty and the service great. Samuel, the chef who has been there 20 years had a chat and a laugh with us.
Prices are reasonable..we would certainly recommend.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Rowena C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    13
    5
    3
    16
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Chatswood, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Tasty Chinese Fare at Good Price in Fun Surroundings”
Reviewed July 29, 2014

From my experience here, I would recommend this restaurant for anyone looking for a reasonably economical Chinese meal. It's true that there's nothing about the food that sets it apart from scores of other Chinese restaurants, but it's certainly tasty and the standard is perfectly acceptable. . The waiting staff in this Chinese owned and operated eating house seemed to comprise of local "Aussie" young women, no doubt studying school or university, who were pleasant and hospitable. The service was extremely prompt and they had a house white wine by the glass that was very drinkable. The premises were rather fun, decorated in a "way over the top" Chinese manner and a visit would no doubt be very popular with the kids just for the novelty value. Looking at the reviews I am very surprised at the mediocre reception this place gets, after all we're not talking "fine dining" here, it's not realistic to expect a life altering experience! I left contented with my meal and with the intention of returning next time in Blackheath.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank SydneyTraveller185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Featherston, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Full of trepidation but actually perfectly good food...!”
Reviewed June 20, 2014

Ho's clearly hasn't impressed many reviewers but I wonder how many actually ate there or ever went back... These places have a habit of changing hands and getting better or worse without appearing outwardly different, which perhaps explains our positive experience despite initial misgivings.

It's obvious Ho's was put together in the 80's (as celebrated on their billboard) and ridden hard for three decades without a penny spent on its decor or menu (which is full of little edits). But it is actually a pretty awesome looking restaurant - just look at the ceiling! This place COULD be much improved if they ripped out the carpet and lightened the walls to brighten the place up. The hidden kitchen NEVER inspires trust, and decor held together with duct tape never speaks of class...

But let's talk FOOD...!

Price was good, especially considering location.

We ordered a veggie dish for some greens, a lemon chicken, and a garlic chicken with a serving of rice for two. Given the appearance of the restaurant I was ready for something HORRIFIC... But was pleasantly surprised!

The veggie dish was a mix of beans, some sort of green (maybe bok choi) noodles, fried tofu and a few other bits and pieces. It reminded me of Mongolian BBQ and was quite yummy but like Mongolian BBQ and most veggie dishes it was all a bit the samey.

The lemon chicken was breast chicken as advertised on menu and tasted like every other lemon chicken I have ever had. No complaints.

The garlic chicken was quite yummy, there was a LOT of garlic (it looked like a phad Thai) but who cares. Garlic is awesome. The dish had greens and some fried rice noodles and looked fresh and appealing. While grease was a factor MSG was not, the menu declaring none was used. I'm some what sensitive and my nose never twitched. There was a hint of shrimps in the dish which could have been a bit of fish sauce or shrimp paste at work or contamination from a previous dish in the same wok. Who cares, eat in Asia you eat hot so the bugs don't getcha.

The rice was perfect, and while rice should be no challenge I HAVE had bad rice from Thai and Chinese places before. So +1 point for rice cooked right.

We specifically avoided entrees (and I don't do Chinese soups) because I suspected they would be frozen, mass produced and basically, given the appearance of the restaurant, bad. But in hindsight maybe they would have been ok... Dubious still.

We went 6.30 on Friday and while only one table was occupied they took a takeaway order and another couple came in to dine making four groups.... The rest of the restaurant and several very large tables were conspicuously empty throughout.

I disagree with another reviewer that having a non-Asian running front of house in a restaurant serving Asian food is a tell tale bad sign... This would make many of the best Asian themed dining options in larger cities 'bad'. Our waiter was welcoming, friendly, and while I wouldn't rave about the service I would not deduct points by default for her not being an Asian exchange student hired at slave rates or a cousin of the owner... We recently dined at a great Thai place in Port Maquarie - the front of house was Asian but the chefs were Anglo and Arab (guessing) and if ethnicity were so important the food would have been compromised, but no, the food was damn good! Food racists be advised.

Ho's is a time capsule and it's decor is AWESOME but it would really benefit from a makeover and opening up the restaurant to the street, breaking up the dining spaces with screens to make more intimate spaces and opening up the rear wall onto the kitchen so passers by and guests could see the chefs working. Basically it needs an owner, or manager, with enough vision and money to stop the rot and get it back on track.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank TimandNicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blackheath, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Friendly service and good Chinese tucker.”
Reviewed May 13, 2014

We have been going to this place since 1988. It's true that we tend to order the same things - Mongolian Lamb, Chicken Chow Mein, Sate Combination, Bombe Alaska but it is always yum so why not? Owners are friendly and always make us feel very welcome.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank kateandrobert2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Worst Chinese EVER!!!”
Reviewed April 20, 2014

When Aussies are at the reception desk you know that it is likely to be terrible. Should have gone with our gut instinct. When we walked in it smelled like the chef had been smoking out the back. We ordered short soup which was inedible. The wontons were hard and felt like we were eating squash balls. The only salvageable thing from the short soup was the wonton around the meatball. Next dish was chicken chop suey. Apparently this means chicken with vegetables. What we got was more like chicken with onion with a gooey sauce. The boiled rice tasted as it should. We weren't happy to pay the $2.50 surcharge for public holiday per person. Also I was charged a 50c fee for paying by EFTPOS. We were not asked once whether we were enjoying our meal. We think they know the answer. This place is awful.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Adam O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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