I have let it be known on numerous occasions that Chinese is my absolute favourite food in the whole wide world, or rather western style Chinese. Don’t get me wrong, I love the food in China, the Chinese in Korea, not so much. My obvious favourite is how we do it in England, but sadly I can’t see that catching on any time soon so for now I’ll stick with American style which is pretty damn close.
Hours is a brand new restaurant that has opened up in my old stomping ground HBC. When I visited at the weekend it was still only in its soft opening phase but I honestly just couldn’t wait to give it a try. The restaurant is pretty small with seating for about 12, but the menu is of a pretty decent size with a good mix of appetizers and entrees. They also have a nice array of alcoholic beverages available too.
The first thing we had to order was TFB’s favourite, Kung Pao Chicken (16,000). I was hoping for some crispy chunks of chicken in a light batter but unfortunately the chicken was just fried with the skin on. It wasn’t bad, I just prefer it when it is battered. The chicken, veggies, and sauce were still pretty good anyway, it had a nice balance and was not too spicy. However I make a pretty damn amazing version of this myself at home so I’m not 100% sure if I would get it again.
The next dish we ordered was the Beef with Broccoli (18,000). I really enjoyed this a lot. There were plenty of generous strips of tender beef in an overly Chinesy tasting sauce. It just had that flavour that you can’t replicate at home, I’m assuming it’s MSG, but who cares when it tastes this good!
My dining buddy wanted to try the Crab Rangoon (8,000). I don’t think we have these in the UK, but I’m always down for anything deep fried. The middle was filled with a cream cheese crabby dip like stuffing. They were fine if you just ate them and didn’t think about the flavour too much, but I can’t say I was bowled over.
After seeing how good it looked at the next table over, we had to try the General Tso’s Chicken (15,000). The sauce was really good, like plate licking good. We don’t have this dish in the UK so I can’t say how authentic it is, but it was like a slightly spicy sweet and sour. The chicken did look crispier from afar and I was hoping it would be in a kind of batter like the Kung Pao is at home, but again sadly not. However I spoke with the owner after we settled up and she told me they plan to roll out the full menu this week or next, which includes all of the battered dishes I’ve been longing for like sweet and sour pork, and orange chicken. Hopefully I shall be satisfied upon my next visit.
Lastly we got a Chicken Fried Rice (8,000). It showed up at the end of the meal when everyone else was pretty full, but I managed to power through and finish it. Not as amazing as a special fried rice from my local Chinese at home, but it will do. We got a look at the noodles as our neighbours ordered it, and I thought the rice looked like the better bet of the two.
Although I didn’t love the food as much as I had hoped I’m still thrilled to have a place like this in the neighbourhood. As I mentioned they were still in their soft opening phase during my visit, so I’m looking forward to going back once the full menu is up and running. The prices are a touch on the high side for me to really order everything that I want to try, but in the UK Chinese is food is often operating as a take out service and not a restaurant which lowers their running costs considerably. The dishes are fairly priced if you compare them to similar Thai places in Seoul though. While they do have take out boxes, I think if you are looking for the cheap and cheerful option to gorge upon at home then it’s best to stick with Panda Express.
Hours is located at 41 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the the left hand turn by the kimchi pots. Walk straight past Bonny’s, Phillies, and Casablanca. Hours is just a little further up on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 010-27680658.