We visited The Hoe Cantonese when in Plymouth on a long weekend break as it had been an firm family favourite when I worked in the area many years ago. It was also close to the hotel where we were staying and as the weather was in typical variable mode we headed there.
The restaurant is situated in a basement below street level and o a wet night the stairs down can be rather slippery. Undeterred we pressed on and entered the restaurant. There were only two couples in the restaurant when we entered but we were heartened to note their ethnicity matched the restaurant genre.
We we were warmly welcomed and shown to a table towards the back of the restaurant. As there are no windows table location is a secondary consideration. We were given menus and a basket of fresh crisp prawn crackers. As we sat and perused our menus we noted that the restaurant has not been redecorated since were there fifteen years ago and it smelled very musty and damp. Not really surroundings conducive to a vibrant atmosphere.
Our waitress returned and took our drinks order which as other contributors have noted are served from a chilled cabinet as there is no draft beer on offer. They quickly arrived and our order was taken.
We ordered starters and three main courses to share. No problems with the order or the time to deliver, but then with two other couples in the restaurant and slow but steady of takeaway orders leaving the kitchen could not have been very busy.
Portions were Devonian sized and despite this being our main meal we realised we had over ordered. All dishes were freshly prepared and very good if perhaps slightly over seasoned with the usual MSG. The lemon chicken was excellent.
Service was faultless, attentive, prompt and all dishes served as ordered, but there again we had the restaurant o ourselves by the time we left.
We would not visit the Hoe again as the atmosphere, in particular the damp musty smell, and the faded outdated décor do not provide the surroundings that are expected when eating out. The restaurant fabric needs a serious facelift and investment if it is going to do justice to what is very acceptable produce of the kitchen.
The overall rating of two stars is based on the total dining experience and reflects the poor atmosphere in the restaurant
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