As someone who really enjoys all that Houston has to offer – especially the food, I often write Houston restaurant reviews on places I have been to or new Houston restaurant discoveries. Some Houston restaurants need a little improvement but show promise, others are unique and some completely wow me. Those are typically the Houston restaurants I choose to write reviews on. It is, however, a rare occurrence I feel compelled to relate my bad experiences. Why? Typically I chalk up a bad experience to a possible bad day. Every Houston restaurant is entitled to them and most are minor. I may not choose to go there again or I may try another time. But rare is it that I feel I should warn people away from a particular Houston restaurant. The Rooster is the exception.
I went to The Rooster, a Houston Chinese restaurant located at 15222 West Road at Highway 6 in the middle of what should have been lunch rush. Seeing only one other person in this Houston restaurant should have clued me in but ignoring that I pushed on. We were reluctantly greeted and our drink order was taken – two iced teas. That was promptly delivered along with fried wontons and the expected accompanying hot mustard and sweet and sour sauce.
My husband was with me and we both ordered from the lunch special menu, a variety of typical Houston Chinese dishes complete with fried rice, egg roll and soup. The prices ranged from approximately $6 to $8. I ordered the shredded pork with garlic sauce and my husband got the pressed chicken. We both chose the hot and sour soup to go with the meal.
First, the iced tea was just passable. It may have been a bit past its prime but had that been the only issue I would have ignored it. It wasn’t gross just not as refreshing as I would have liked. The fried wontons I had nothing to complain about though. Next, the soup was delivered and was a little thicker then I usually see but not alarmingly so. What was alarming was the taste. Single worst hot and sour soup ever tasted and I have had a lot. There was no hot to be found but there was certainly emphasis on the sour. Soup should not make your mouth pucker, right?
The pork dish at this Houston restaurant was bland. The pressed chicken was some play on chicken nuggets in what I assume was meant to be a tempura batter. It was greasy and it tasted like the oil was way past its prime and needed changing. The tempura was mushy. The fried rice and egg rolls on both dishes were practically inedible. The egg roll was quite full. I’m just not sure what it was filled with. Maybe their namesake rooster? Plus, how it is possible for a Houston Chinese restaurant to so utterly butcher fried rice is nearly inconceivable but they did it. We paid, we left. It should have been the end of the story and lesson learned. Alas, it was not. Both my husband and I felt terrible the rest of the day.
I cannot remember having such a poor experience in a very long time. That was the worst meal I have had in recent memory. How this place stays open I don’t know either. I checked some reviews, unfortunately after the fact, and found I am not the only one. “Hot and Sour soup tasted like some sort of curry sauce. It was absolutely awful, couldn’t even eat it,” said one diner. “The food tasted old,” mentioned another. Still another diner exclaimed, “I was looking forward to trying the food. Then I got it.. it was repulsive! It was DISGUSTING!”
There were also some comments about rude service from the owner. I believe we experienced her as well and though I cannot say she was outright rude, there was definitely some gruffness. But I’d be in a perpetual bad mood if I had to serve gross food to all two of my diners during lunch rush too, though. Bad experience. Bad food. Stay away from this Houston Chinese restaurant.
Various diners, “Rooster Chinese Restaurant.” B4-U-Eat.com
Various diners, “Rooster Chinese Restaurant: Reviews.” Google Reviews