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Looking for a Good Chinese Dinner Plate

curiousgeo Oct 13, 2013 12:08 AM

We usually eat family style when at a Chinese restaurant, but every once in a while I get the craving for a nice chop suey house dinner plate. It usually includes fried or steamed rice, maybe with beef broccoli noodles, sweet sour pork, pot roast pork, some fried shrimp with crispy won tuns.

The best I've had was at Helen's on Kapahulu Avenue, long closed now. Second was at the original McCully Chop Suey. Almost everything on those plates was nicely done and tasty so I'm feeling a bit nostalgic.

The last year or so I've tried Duk Kee, Hoy Tin, Pauoa Chop Suey and Golden Duck. I'd say they all came in at C+/B- range, not terrible but not especially delicious either. So I'm in the hunt for a good dinner plate.

Any suggestions from Hawaii hounds? I'd be interested to hear about your local favorite. Thanks in advance for your input.

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  1. e
    emu48 RE: curiousgeo Oct 13, 2013 06:29 PM

    My fave was at Wong & Wong in Chinatown, but it's gone. I guess you just have to start methodically eating your way through every Chinese joint in Honolulu. Not the worst thing in the world, right?

    1. KaimukiMan RE: curiousgeo Oct 13, 2013 07:11 PM

      You hit all my main spots. Do NOT try the little chinese place at Kam Shopping Center . ugh, horrid. Pahoa Chinese, where Pacific Heights crosses Pauoa Rd. used to be pretty good, I haven't been in quite a while. Another friend really likes Hung Won on Waialae. In general I like the food at Mini Garden, but I don't even know if they have a lunch or dinner plate.

      I too miss Helen's, or for that matter the old Hee Hing when they were across from Rainbow's. On-On at McCully was good too. I can't say I was impressed by McCully Chop Suey, but it was shortly before they closed, I think it had started to slide downhill by then.

      1. j
        Joebob RE: curiousgeo Oct 13, 2013 08:23 PM

        If I wanted a Chinese lunch, I'd probably go to Ming's, but it is Chinese Chinese, not Hawaiian Chinese.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Joebob
          indelibledotink RE: Joebob Oct 14, 2013 10:47 PM

          tell me more about ming's, i work in the area and always pass by. my coworker said he had some kind of organ meat there. is that chinese chinese? i stopped by one day and got a menu. what do you suggest?

          1. re: indelibledotink
            Joebob RE: indelibledotink Oct 15, 2013 01:39 AM

            Some of the best dishes must be ordered 24-hours in advance (indicated by red stars on the menu). I like the Enoki mushrooms with tofu strips and shredded snow peas, some casseroles, and the steamed soup dumplings. Yes, spicy kidney is Chinese Chinese.

        2. c
          curiousgeo RE: curiousgeo Oct 14, 2013 02:13 AM

          I had to chuckle, emu, KM and I all mentioned places we liked that are now closed. So the search continues, maybe Tasty Chop Suey, Lagoon Chinese or Lung Fung. If I find a good one I'll let you all know about it, though I'd still love hearing about any other local favorites.

          11 Replies
          1. re: curiousgeo
            KaimukiMan RE: curiousgeo Oct 14, 2013 12:04 PM

            I'll ask around as well. Any kind of "mixed plate" (which would include a chinese dinner plate) are pretty much off my diet right now. All 3 numbers in my weight right now are odd numbers. Until that changes I'm being very item specific as to what i eat.

            Waimalu Chop Suey (home of the giant gau gee) used to be good, but I'm told they changed owners - but still make giant gau gee. And someone said the chinese place next to Firestone on Dillingham (don't know the name-it might be Ming's that Joebob mentioned) was good too. A couple of others mentioned Moon Garden in Liliha/Kalihi

            Does Pah Ke's have a lunch or dinner plate? It's kinda far for us townies, but the food there is ono.

            1. re: KaimukiMan
              curiousgeo RE: KaimukiMan Oct 14, 2013 12:55 PM

              Well health is the most important thing so do take care. I try to limit my plate lunch/dinner plate to 2, at most 3 times a week. The rest of the time it's fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, chicken or fish. Does make those good grinds taste even better when I get to eat them!

              1. re: KaimukiMan
                macsak RE: KaimukiMan Oct 14, 2013 04:37 PM

                they had one before
                i'll check tomorrow when i'm at my office

                1. re: macsak
                  manomin RE: macsak Oct 14, 2013 09:50 PM

                  Sometime I'm going to wander by your office and say "aloha"!
                  I will ask again when I do what I should do at Pah Ke's. I used to order their special noodles all the time for parties in big trays but have never eaten in the restaurant a big void in my 'hood dining!

                  1. re: manomin
                    macsak RE: manomin Oct 15, 2013 01:25 AM

                    my receptionist should know if you walk in and ask for macsak

                    order anything off the specials menu
                    although even the standard items are good
                    order a dessert if raymond made something that evening

                    if you have a special occasion, go in advance and set up a special menu
                    just tell raymond your price per person and what your preferences are

                    1. re: macsak
                      honu2 RE: macsak Oct 15, 2013 10:51 AM

                      Any and all of Raymond Siu's desserts are special. Over the years, I've sampled at least 25 different kinds, including his coconut cake which I think he makes only if the whole cake is ordered.. It's the twin of the Halekulani coconut cake.
                      without having to drive to Waikiki.

                      1. re: macsak
                        macsak RE: macsak Oct 15, 2013 03:31 PM

                        lunch plate $8.50
                        sweet & sour spareribs
                        kau yuk
                        pork chop suey
                        steamed white rice
                        2 pcs crispy won ton

                        dinner plate $9.50
                        s & s spareribs
                        beef & broccoli (aka broccoli beef if you are from the big island, otherwise beef broccoli) :)
                        ginger chicken
                        fried rice
                        2 pcs crispy gau gee

                  2. re: KaimukiMan
                    Joebob RE: KaimukiMan Oct 14, 2013 08:49 PM

                    Yes, Ming's is on Dillingham next to Firestone, behind McDs. I believe they have lunch specials.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan
                      Quince RE: KaimukiMan Oct 14, 2013 10:43 PM

                      According to their online menu they have lunch and dinner plates.

                      1. re: KaimukiMan
                        indelibledotink RE: KaimukiMan Oct 14, 2013 10:48 PM

                        my dad used to eat at waimalu all the time after golf and has noted that the new owners = decline in quality

                        1. re: indelibledotink
                          KaimukiMan RE: indelibledotink Oct 15, 2013 02:06 PM

                          sad to hear but not surprising. people spend money on an existing/long time successful restaurant because they know they aren't good enough to go on their own reputation or skills and then run the place into the ground.

                    2. russkar RE: curiousgeo Oct 14, 2013 11:46 PM

                      A lot of my Chinese local friends really like Dew Drop Inn on Beretaina. We think it's good but not amazing...

                      1. r
                        roro808 RE: curiousgeo Oct 15, 2013 05:58 PM

                        Can't beat Jun Bo -- on an alley off Merchant St. fronting Bank of Hawaii HQ. They have list of menu for 50% off after 2.30 pm. I also believe Mandalay has the same reduced price for dinner to go.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: roro808
                          curiousgeo RE: roro808 Oct 15, 2013 10:55 PM

                          I've walked by this place several times on the way to Joe Pacific and have heard it's pretty good. Completely hidden from the road, so easy to forget about since you never drive by it.

                          1. re: curiousgeo
                            roro808 RE: curiousgeo Oct 15, 2013 11:33 PM

                            It has been at the same place since... forever.... although the owner changed hands several years ago. It's crowded during lunch time and popular for office lunch parties.. Definitely stop by after 2.30pm for a good deal.

                            1. re: curiousgeo
                              roro808 RE: curiousgeo Oct 19, 2013 10:58 PM

                              Yeah -- and the place is always full to da max during lunch hours... people know where to find good food (OK, mediocre) and good price ; more importantly, speedy service!

                          2. w
                            wabi RE: curiousgeo Oct 17, 2013 09:47 PM

                            The Hanamaulu Cafe on Kauai. My wife has the mixed plate every time we go there.

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