The Blog from Oi Polloi presents: by Sam Waller •

For this month’s unmissable instalment of Eatery of the Month we’re taking it down to Chinatown to a fine establishment known as Ho’s Bakery.

Regular eaters may remember the old Ho’s concession inside the Chinese supermarket on Oldham Road. This was particularly convenient for those who like to eat oriental pastry items whilst browsing the aisles for thirst quenching peanut drinks. Sadly this closed last year, but the one in Chinatown is still going so that’s the one we’ll talk about.

Well, would you look at those tasty treats? I know that badly-processed black and white photograph above is hardly the most helpful of images, but what more do you need to see? As an ardent meat-dodger I tend to go for either the vegetable curry pasty or the spring onion fritter (not pictured). I have had dalliances with the aptly titled deep fried sticks (also not pictured) in the past, but my appetite for foot-long sticks of batter has faded somewhat in recent years.

Back to the matter at hand, don’t worry if your items arrive a bit cold, the helpful staff WILL heat things up in their trusty microwave if you ask kindly.

And Ho’s isn’t just for savoury slices, they also know their way around a cake. The big birthday cakes probably aren’t ideal for a working lunch, but they do make more manageable portions for all you inner city slickers. And if you are in the market for a birthday cake, then why not let the cake maker do his magic and design something different?

Now you’ve bought your dinner, there really is only one place to eat it — Chinatown’s world-famous pagoda. Popular with everyone from daytime boozers to clumsy tourists who like to wear backpacks on their fronts, this is the place to be if you enjoy awkward conversations and weird stare-outs. If you’re lucky their might even be a soundtrack provided by the happy chappy above and his trusty CD player. Wonderful.

RATING: good pasties, good cakes and good company, I give Ho’s Bakery five grease-soaked paper bags out of five.

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