Chao Chow Palace

3 out of 5 stars3 Stars

rue du Brabant 80, Brussels, 1210, Belgium

1 Review

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Satisfaction Poor
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Costs 45% less but rated 23% lower than other 3 star hotels

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Good For Business
  • Families23
  • Couples30
  • Solo42
  • Business46
  • Gillybob's Profile Photo

    Chao Chow Disappointment


    This hotel is conveniently situated next to the Gare du Nord train station. If that's the location you're looking for and you think of this as a 2* hotel, then you're not going wrong.

    However, whilst the location was convenient enough, the first thing I spotted when exiting the Gare du Nord Station were the peep show and sex shops. Although they aren't predominant in the area, they are very off-putting. I have to admit that, whilst they didn't impress me, I didn't experience any trouble when walking in the area, even in the evening.

    On arrival at the hotel, I was greeted pleasantly and given my room key card. However, I think that was the only 4* evidence I saw. The room was large, clean and air-conditioned but this was the only good side to my stay. The toilet was in its own room, without a wash-hand basin. The shower trickled down the wall unless you used one hand to hold it up.

    I was lucky enough to have my dates co-incide with Ommegang but the hotel staff were totally oblivious to what that was and their only solution was to access the internet website - which I had already done before leaving home so I was more informed than they were.

    Breakfast was continental and just passed muster - I don't expect canned fruit cocktail in a 4* hotel!

    Unique Quality: No pool. No restaurant. No spa, beauty salon or conference facilities.

    Just what makes this a 4* hotel?

    The only good side - I got this at a bargain knock-down rate.

    Directions: Near Gare du Nord Station.

More about Chao Chow Palace

Dim sum, laqués, casserole dishes at "The Hub"

by Norali about Chao Chow city

For some specific reason, I use to eat there many days in summers. I kind of know how it works there. This is a restaurant I can talk about for a long time. In brief, it's cheap, it's huge and given the quantity they use and the rotation, I bet everything is fresh. Well, it's great to eat crispy vegetables and shrimps in your sautés :)

It's a Chinese restaurant on Bd Anspach, with lacquered and roasted ducks hanging on display :)). Don't go there for the setting neither for the ambience. It's clean but rather looks like a hub. A large room in pink with big pots of flower on the middle of it, and tables around. Very often packed, noisy when organized tours people enter the building, stepping down from their coaches and take seat in the big room. To think, they make the ambience. Most of times, they are enjoying their time, their food (with many dishes in a diner), laughing, getting drunk.

First floor, there is another large room that is used for Chinese tourists groups. I have the feeling they are clients of Chao Chow Palace (in Brussels) as the restaurant should be part of it as well.

On sundays: buffet. You go there at noon and can try a large assortment of dishes (from starters to desserts: dim sum, soup, fried ravioli & starters, fried noodles & rice, lacquered meat, vegetables sautés with seafood or meat...). All that for 13 euros.

Also, if you are in a hurry, there is a room where you can have "plats du jour" at around 4-5 euros (a choice between 3 dishes, usually written on a blackboard at the entry). Service there would be basic but it's quicker and cheaper than in the other big room. There are some dishes on a card that are served in the express room as well but I doubt they are at this 4 euro rate. I am not sure the "express room" is open on Sundays.

Visa, Mastercard accepted. Open 7/7 -rice on plate formulas (lacquered duck, pork)
-beef with onions (to die for - served with rice)
-beef with 5 spices (to die for - served with rice)
-dim sum (of course ! - large assortment)
-vegetables sautés (large choice)
-vegetables casserole. This is a nice one that Malagasy people use to long for as the stew mix resembles some Malagasy dishes. It's made of cabbage leaves with bits of roasted pork, carrots and mushrooms.. delicious !
-Chinese noodles soups: not fan of Chinese soups in general but they are OK. Plus, if you ask it politely, you guys can decide how many balls you'd have ;-)

Prices: cheap (6-10 euros) except some seafood & duck dishes (logical ! me thinks)

Of course, I wouldn't recommend Vietnamese dishes there: nems are better in Vietnamese restaurants, for instance.

I wouldn't recommend either the desserts, only fresh fruits. To be honest, I tried dessert once (bananes flambées) and didn't like it. Also, when I go there, i usually have one dish as portions are big enough.

Warning: especially, if you are having fried noodles or rices (riz sauté or nouilles sautées), don't order anything else). You can't even finish your dish, in fact, so why having sthg else ?

Just one thing: some waiters have difficulties with languages other than Chinese. Otherwise, all is organized to make you order correctly (use a point the numbers in case you doubt he/she understands what you meant). Also, names of the dishes are described in French & translated in English. Once you know that, you can have a highly satisfying experience there.

Low price Chinese, Viatnamese, Indian food

by Norali about Several restaurants in Brussels "Chinatown"

Appreciate Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Thai.. standards within restaurants at La Bourse (Stock Exchange).

What make them special are a good location (downtown, near several monuments...), a quick service, variety of dishes, a full range of Asian countries' cuisines... and low price for average quality food.

Same area: trendy but popular cafés and snacks with "terraces" (in summer and spring, clients are served outside, in front of cafés), especially "Le St-Géry" that holds exhibitions and live music (see Must-see activities tips on Le Quartier Saint-Géry for that). Still, exception for those cheap Asian restaurants, Saint-Géry area would rather mean "nightlife" for me. On the picture, one of my fave pubs in the place. See my nightlife tips for my pubbing experiences. Within Chinese food, dim sum (huge range of those at Chao Chow City restaurant, Anspach Bd. Walk a bit farer from Stock Exchange level) and crispy duck, lacquered duck... Also, on sundays, there are buffets where you can taste all you want (check another tip for more details). Many Asian, both locals and tourists go there. Also, there is a room where you can have "plat du jour" for 5 euros. You have a choice between 2-3 dishes and that's all.

For several Vietnamese soups (Tonkin, Saigon, Hanoi...) with some Thai basil and tamarine, my favourite place is Thanh Binh. Bo Bun Cha Gio (beef, nems and vermicelli) dish is yummy as well at Thanh Binh. Premices have been lately refurbished. Low prices, OK for small and student budget. Thanh Binh is one of first restaurants in Van Praet street, just across a Asian supermarket. My warning: this is a tip for cheapest Asian restaurants ever, not for gastronomy food.

They asked for it and had it :)

by Norali

"Some people visiting Brussels..."

asked for meeting (sometimes for guiding) and I've met some.

Here they are, sometimes with pics and most often with the excitement of meeting VTers de passage.

Forgive if I forget some. I am listing the names of people I met while them visiting Brussels. I don't include here the Nov. 30- Brussels meeting. Check my HP to have the starting point of the tales on it.

- Irisbe (Dannie or The lady from Antwerp): great idea to spend the day spotting cows all over Brussels then have some "drinks". Love at first for... Duvel. That was July 2003. Later, we had more occasions to meet each other in Brussels again, both for mini and giga-meetings;

- Cadzand (Gini) and Peter_P (Peter). Spent the afternoon in Bozar, to see an African Contemporary Art exhibition and some drinks, of course. That was not really to visit Brussels since they know it. The purpose was rather to meet each other, on September 6 2003. Afterwards, there have been meetings with each of them on several occasions ;

- November 11, met for the first time, RalphII (I wouldn't reveal the nick I gave him, he wouldn't appreciate that :). It has to do with his perfume, that we noth appreciate: Geoffrey Beene's Grey Flannel. Hi, Ralph ! Also, met Dannie, Tompt (Tom and Gonnie, whom I met in Antwerp on Nov 2. That was during the big Antwerp meeting), Benidormone (William), Master_D (Dirk). Here, we ate in one of those snacks on Pitta street. Well, I use to say it is not the typical Brussels food. I don't even recommand it for the quality but since we ate at 3pm, Pitta street serves as last resort if you don't want to go to MacD and Quick. Later on, Peter_P joined us in Le Cercueuil.

- In December, Ian-Grace asked for a little tour in "parts of Brussels (she) didn't know" and we enjoyed the afternoon in Sainte-Catherine area and wandering in the neighbourhood, walking on a Red Carpet :). We tried some churros, and jenever and fries, for IG.

In between, there were private meetings to see an exhibition, for some drinks. That was for 2003

- 2004 started quickly with the visit of Imaniac (Roy). He was here for a school visit to the European Parliament. This guy is funny. We had some gentle "Belgian" and "Dutch" bashing talks in a smoked chess caf?, Greenwich Taverne. lol. We visited the center too, within 2 hours, we've seen something but missed a museum Roy wanted to visit. Next time, Roy! Next time...

-Then, in February, Geisha_Girl (Rochelle) & Christain.Lafont passed by. We had our TGV meeting, organized by Ian-Grace. Other Vters attended this short meeting in Midi train station: Cadzand ( Gini), Stevieboy (Steve). It was the second time I met Steve and the first (the only, so far) I met Rochelle and Christian. Nice encounterings but too short. Will do better (rather say, longer), next time ? On below pic, Ian-Grace and Norali are missing. But here is a pic of IG walking on a red Carpet on Rue Rempart des Moines's pedestrian lane.

- Then GillianMcLaughlin (Gillian) came to town.......

- Eva.... hmmm enjoyed two days here


July... meeting up with Dannie. One year after Brussels cowspotting & Ghent Festivities meetings, it was about time Dannie and I met up again for a popular activities, in the crow, soaking up he ambience..


It started out smoothly. Mid-Sep., Virginia (vginginbabe) from HK posted a couple of questions in the Europe forum about her trip to & stay in Brussels. Amongst them was a call for a meeting with local Vters in Brussels.

As usual Belgian vters popped in to offer her answers and as time went by, the Brussels meeting took shape. Time and places were gradually identified. Thanks to Dannie (irisbe) for organizing (Brussels local Norali was too busy home to plan and was not sure to attend so gave up organizing). Finally, I could attend, but only from 4 pm.

Other Vters too joined in to show attendees around. I joined the group later on (5.15 pm), when they were sipping drinks at Saint-G?ry's Mappa Mundo. [Earlier, past noon, they had visited breweries as well but I hadn't attended the visit.]

After the drinks, we enjoyed our diner at Chao Chow's. I was a little afraid about serving Chinese to a HK woman. She was nice to reassure me after the diner about my choice :-) Thanks Virginia. Chao Chow was what I could recommend to such a group of 8, without booking and that I knew in terms of quality and service. Don't know about the others but I use to love this restaurant. Can be cheap, rather quick service, freshness of ingredients (crunchy vegetables :-)... and, most important, can handle a large group that hasn't booked any seat beforehand.

After Virginia's departure, the remaining of the group went to a well-known Brussels pub, Drugstore Opera, that has the advantage to be near of both Centrale Station and the parking lot where a Vter's car was stationed. A great time we had there, with laughters, jokes, sometimes real silly jokes...
That is what we, in Belgium, can offer travelers who are interested in meeting up with locals. Whenever possible, we use to meet up with those travelers en masse. We come from either Brussels, Antwerp, Molenbeersel, Ghent, Mons, Mechelen to attend a meeting. Even our neigbours from The Netherlands come here.
Also if you are not a meeting type, whenever one asks a question in a Belgian forum, one is sure to have replies as soon as possible. So, do not hesitate to write to us, call for a meeting whenever you pass by... We enjoy both reunions of old faces & meeting up with new ones.

Speaking of faces, on the picture are Dannie's and Virginia's. I took this picture at the terrace of Mappa Mundo. The other faces were Nathalie (Nathalie_B), Alain (Alain_Smeets), Jeanne-Marie & Allain (Raheni); Sarah (ptitetoile) and Charles and Peter (Peter_P)



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