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Oct 13, 2013 12:08 AM

Looking for a Good Chinese Dinner Plate

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. 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. 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. 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

          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

            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. 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

            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

              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

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

                1. re: macsak

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

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

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

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

                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        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

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