|6-8 Zhihui St.; 19 East Dongchenggen St.; 71 Qinglong St.; 2/F, Roma Holiday Plaza, 2 East Gaosheng Bridge Rd.; 51 Shawan Rd.|
|指挥街6-8号, / 东城根南街19号, / 青龙街71号, / 高升桥东路2号罗马假日广场2楼, / 沙湾路51号 |
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Monica Liau (more chengdu)|
This chain has several locations around Chengdu and boasts having the “best beefsteak.” The critic in question has always been skeptical of these claims but was starving one day in the relatively restaurant-free area around Tianfu Square at 2 o’clock. So against her gut feelings of impending doom, Houcaller became the choice for a late lunch.
The interior of the restaurant is a strange combination of lush purple drapes and stainless steel tables filled mostly with young, trendy women. Not the most uncomfortable interior in the world yet the way they utilized the available space left something to be desired. As well, the service wasn’t terrible. The waitresses wore red birthday hats at the time of our arrival and were extra attentive.
After ordering from the picture menu, the food arrived on a steel platter, displaying a quality and color reminiscent of an all-American, all-night dining chain. You know the type. The ones that rely on frozen beef and pork patties that masquerade as T-Bone steak and Boston cut pork chops. Houcaller cuisine is a Chinese interpretation of Western-style, middle of the night, greasy, tasteless, hangover food. However, there is no reason to take advantage of this food since Houcaller is not open all night, and I could be paying 10 RMB for spicy exciting street barbeque or fried noodles instead of 45 RMB per person for fake steak, bad Italian noodles, and rehydrated potatoes.
In the end, this critic left the meal feeling cheated and unhappy. Why such a strong reaction to this mediocre meal? Because Chengdu is the capital of amazing food. The people in Chengdu have legendarily discerning tastes for both subtle and spicy flavors. This critic is not used to paying for a bad meal and this meal was bad.