China Town in Hawaii
China Town can be found in many cities across the United States, and the world. All the way in Hawaii you might be surprised that there is a China Town, but there is. I love to seek out China Town because it always promises good food, and the one in Honolulu did not disappoint.
I stumbled upon Royal Kitchen because it looked authentic and had a good amount of people inside who were speaking Chinese. I felt like this was a good sign. I then found out that in 1974, Royal Kitchen was one of the first shops in Honolulu to offer baked “bao“, rather than steamed. This opened new opportunities for many other merchants in Hawaii. Now they have a variety of fillings: cha siu, chicken, curry chicken, Portuguese sausage, Lup Chong, hot dogs, kalua pork, vegetarian, coconut, black sugar, and Okinawan sweet potato. They are all less than $2 each, which makes it easy to try many different types.
There are other classic Chinese food options, so if you have something in mind you can usually ask them to make it. If you like soup, then their wonton soup is definitely not to be missed. It was salty, with chives and the right amount of fat. The wontons themselves had thin skin, with a nice filling. Another great option is the cake noodles. These are similar to ramen noodles but dry and in a cake-like square. They have a brown sauce on top with either meat or vegetables.
Sirved must try’s
- Baos: If you go to Royal Kitchen you must try different baos. If you are vegetarian they have options for everyone.
- Minute chicken cake noodles: Basically a stack of hard noodles that get softer in the sauce. Similar to minute-ramen noodles
- Stuffed duck: If you are a bigger group you can share a whole stuffed duck as a treat
- The pupu platter: Essentially this is a meat platter, with cha siu, roast pork, roast duck, roast chicken, and crispy gau gee. Another good option for a group.
- Steamed fillet of fish over tofu: This was one of my favorite dishes because I love fish and tofu. It was a bit lighter, and the sauce was really tasty.
If you are in Honolulu and looking for something a bit different than what you might normally eat in Hawaii, stopping into China Town and Real Kitchen can be a nice change.