HOME > Chowhound > Hawaii >

Regional Chinese in Honolulu?

gtimber Aug 7, 2010 11:01 PM

My experience in Honolulu is that the Chinese restaurants are just OK, but don't compare to San Francisco or SGV. Well, here I am visiting again and hankering for some decent Chinese food that is not just the same worn out Cantonese menu from every tourist trap. The ideal would be a place that has good soup dumplings, but I'd settle for decent Shanghainese, Hunan, Hakka, Sichuan, anybody?
Or, a great Cantonese place that has something other than the standard fare.
Mahalo in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. j
    Joebob RE: gtimber Aug 8, 2010 12:48 AM

    Soup dumplings on Oahu? "Du ar ju optimist!" as the Swedes say. You might try offering #44 (clam w/ egg,meat, and basil) at Moon Garden (580 N. Vineyard Blvd., open 10:30-9:00 daily), but it will be better during an off period when the chef has time to prepare it properly. The pea shoots are nice too, if they have them.

    Moon Garden Restaurant
    578 N Vineyard Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817

    7 Replies
    1. re: Joebob
      sku RE: Joebob Aug 9, 2010 01:06 AM

      Tai Pan in Chinatown sometimes has XLB as part of their dim sum, but I've never had them.

      It's definitely a Cantonese centered cuisine, but I think the Cantonese roast meats in Honolulu are superior to many in California, possibly because of the laxer health enfrocement in HI (that is, things can remain at room temperature for longer), so I always go to Nam Fong for duck and Wing Loy for char siu and roast port (both on Maunakea in Chinatown), but they are certainly Cantonese standard fare.

      1. re: Joebob
        Jazzaloha RE: Joebob Sep 9, 2010 06:58 PM


        Have you been to Ming's in Dillingham (next to McDonald's)? If you're talking about the dumplings with the soup inside (my friend's call them shanghai dumplings), the one's here are really good. I have a couple of Chinese friends who really like them. This was the first place I tried them, and I thought they were terrific! I believe Mei Sum also serves them, but they weren't as good.

        1. re: Jazzaloha
          Joebob RE: Jazzaloha Sep 10, 2010 12:53 AM

          Do you mean Ming's Canton Food (1000 Kam. Hwy.)? Maybe checking the box will tell me where that is. If not, where is that?

          1. re: Joebob
            Jazzaloha RE: Joebob Sep 10, 2010 01:37 AM

            MIng's Chinese Restaurant
            1414 Dillingham Blvd.

            It's off of Waiakamilo. Do you know where the Original Pancake House is in Kalihi (Dillingham)? It's in the same strip mall. Let me know if you try it. (They also have some pretty unusual (hardcore) Chinese dishes there. I think I saw grubs on the menu.)

            The Original Pancake House
            1414 Dillingham Blvd Ste 107, Honolulu, HI 96817

            1. re: Jazzaloha
              Jazzaloha RE: Jazzaloha Oct 5, 2010 01:36 AM


              I spoke to my friend about some other items to try at Ming's:

              The black sesame mochi, which comes in a kind of cold "soup." (I'm pretty sure my friend said to ask for the "ginger" version of the soup.)

              Also, the mochi (oblong slivers) dish that's basically like a noodle dish, except they use mochi. My friend didn't remember the dish, but check on the menu for something similar.

              Let me know if you try these, as I haven't tried them yet.

              1. re: Jazzaloha
                Joebob RE: Jazzaloha Oct 5, 2010 11:27 AM

                I'm not a great fan of mochi. Is your friend Japanese? Why would the second dish be better than noodles?

                1. re: Joebob
                  Jazzaloha RE: Joebob Oct 5, 2010 12:01 PM

                  No, the friend that likes this is a first generation Chinese from SF. Btw, I don't know if you're familiar with the type of "mochi" I'm referring to here. These aren't the dessert type of mochi, but thin, oblong shaped slivers. I usually see them in hot pot soups. If you don't like this, then it probably wouldn't be better than noodles. (Personally, I'm intrigued because I've never had this type of mochi in a noodle dish.)

      2. j
        Joebob RE: gtimber Aug 9, 2010 11:14 PM

        P.S. The waikiki Marriot has a pretty good Chinese rest. in the basement, but it is what I would call expensive.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Joebob
          gtimber RE: Joebob Aug 13, 2010 11:32 PM

          Thanks for the replies. As it turns out, I won't be able to seek out interesting Chinese food because I couldn't convince the rest of my party to try it and we're running out of nights. I really wanted to try Moon Garden, but maybe next time.
          We did get sushi at Yanagi, which overall I thought was very good.

        2. e
          emu48 RE: gtimber Oct 14, 2010 11:15 PM

          Try out Mini Garden on Beretania or Harbor Village Cuisine at Koko Marina shopping center in Hawaii Kai. Both run by recent Hong Kong immigrants, both way better than the generally mediocre Chinese eateries in Hawaii.

          Harbor Village Cuisine
          7192 Kalanianaole Hwy Ste C123, Honolulu, HI 96825

          Show Hidden Posts