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Crazy, Jumbled Up and Delicious

House of Bowls may be Houston's greatest Hong Kong cuisine.

The dishes we had at that weekday lunch with my friend from Hong Kong were blessedly more diverse in flavor than on that Saturday evening. And the curried fried rice was only the beginning.

Dry-fried beef chow fun was served atop a mound of flat noodles that glistened with oil hot from the wok, that trademark smoky flavor in each bite along with rich undercurrents of soy sauce and nearly caramelized onions. You can easily gauge a restaurant's chops with this dish: How fresh are the noodles? How skillfully was the wok handled while cooking?

In both cases, House of Bowls passes the test. My friend agreed. "These noodles are very fresh," he said. "And see how quick this came out? It only took them five minutes to make it." The cooks definitely know what they're doing back there.

Hot from the wok: dry-fried beef chow fun.
Troy Fields
Hot from the wok: dry-fried beef chow fun.

Location Info

Map

House of Bowls

6650 Corporate Drive, F
Houston, TX 77036

Category: Restaurant > Cantonese

Region: Outer Loop - SW

Details

11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays.

Congee: $3.95

Turnip cake: $2.95

Beef chow fun dry style: $7.95

Curry shrimp fried rice: $6.95

HK French toast: $3.25

Fried chicken wings: $3.95

Roast duck thigh rice: $4.95

Milk tea: $1.95

House of Bowls

6650 Corporate Dr., 713-776-2288.

I was a little less impressed with the fatty beef with oyster mushrooms, but only because the beef chow fun had set the bar so high. The subtle, earthy dish was perked up quite a bit by the liberal application of some dark red chili oil, however, and I found myself enjoying it much more afterward. (Then again, what wouldn't be enhanced by chili oil? Shallots, garlic, chilis, dried shrimp and sugar work miracles when thrown together.)

All three dishes were quickly consumed by our table and the beef chow fun threatened to steal the show until the fried chicken appetizer hit the table. (One thing to note: Food is served when it's finished. This means you may well get your appetizer awhile after your entrées.) It was clearly fresh out of the fryer, yet it wasn't remotely greasy — odd, considering that excess grease is something that many of the dishes sometimes struggle under here. What it was, however, was scorching hot.

When it finally cooled off enough to eat, we found that the chicken had an almost impossibly crunchy and sweet batter that I struggled to describe to a coworker the next day. "It was like it had been battered in Life cereal!" I finally exclaimed, sounding like an overexcited child. Those wings didn't last more than five minutes on the table, and I wished for more the instant they were gone.

But then that Hong Kong-style French toast came out, and all thoughts of chow fun and chicken wings vanished. A hush fell over the table as we each took a few bites of the creation: peanut butter sandwiched between two pieces of French toast, an almost indecent amount of condensed milk on top. As with the roasted duck, I savored each sweet bite. And as with the chow fun and chicken wings and curried shrimp fried rice, I wished immediately for more after it vanished, as quickly as it had appeared.

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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8 comments
LW
LW

The chicken wings are indeed the best thing on the menu there. Glad to see House of Bowls reviewed.

Jim Ayres
Jim Ayres

"... that trademark smoky flavor..." If I only had a dime for every time someone tried to steer me away from a beef and noodle dish because of that. It's why I'm ordering it! Thanks for this great review of a place I'm anxious to try.

redonthehead1
redonthehead1

Hey, is that the "chairman" on Iron Chef America!? jk

trisch
trisch

Still yummy at 46!

 
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