Back when we visited Jamroc Chicken, we noticed renovations shenanigans in the shop space behind them. There wasn’t a lot being given away about what its business would eventually be, but it perked our curiosity enough to keep an eye on it whenever we drove past.
Then without warning, it was open: Ho Chi Mama… a name that made me smirk in memory of carefree childhood days watching 60s movies, when the English language was evolving and the strangest words and phrases were being invented. My mind painted Ho Chi Mama as a wonton no-holds barred fiery woman who stands proudly on her own two feet and demands the very best of what life has to offer.
Ho Chi Mama’s décor took me back to the days when life was simple. It wasn’t so long ago when mobile phones didn’t exist and television was just the free-to-air stuff with ads you couldn’t skip through. The food back then was also simple and might not have looked pretty (tweezers were for tweezing, not plating up delicate ingredients), but hot damn, it was rock solid tasty.
In some ways, Ho Chi Mama does offer that same vibe of simplicity. The dishes are quite simple and honest – what’s listed on the menu is what you get, so there aren’t any surprises.
The SO was very keen to try their pork belly and opted for the deep fried version. Personally while I liked the flavour, I found the crunch a tad overwhelming as we had also ordered the seafood platter of deep fried goodies.
The seafood was fresh and I liked that the platter came with rice sprinkled with black sesame. It is standard Asian food fare protocol and adds something soft to ease all the crunch on the plate, but I can think of several people who might not appreciate the rice.
I was not taken by their spring rolls. Its filling was a non-descript pale yellow mush and I couldn’t tell what it was. There are certainly better spring rolls elsewhere.
The ginger milk pudding was sharp on the tongue and thankfully not sickeningly sweet, making the whole bowl easy to enjoy. Cutting through its silky soft texture with a spoon could put any jell-o to shame.