Mixed Plate Friday

How’z it! I was excited to see that 711 was going to sell Chinese restaurant kine dim sum in their stores! They partnered with Yung Yee Kee. Not sure if this is limited time or for a long time, also…it’s not like it’s identified as the collaboration packs. You gotta just look at the packaging and make the assumption like I did.

Half Moon & Har Gow (Shrimp Dumpling) Pack | $5.59

Kind of pricey yeah? Well dim sum can be kind of pricey and I gotta say, this was pretty good. I found it in the cold case so I had to heat it up in the microwave when I got home. Heated up nicely and the skin was nice and soft, I enjoyed both very much!

Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf | $3.99

Okay the last picture looks bad but that’s not a bug, I promise. It’s just a chunk of the filling on top of the rice. I don’t know if you can tell but the portion of the rice is kind of small. I liked it though, tasted great and I liked that it didn’t stick to the leaf at all.

Furikake Chicken | $11.52 (tax included)

I was out in Kaneohe and finally got to try KJ’s Local Grindz furikake chicken! They are known for it, was a bit disappointed they don’t make it as a musubi anymore. Remember when 711 used to sell the chicken musubis, now it’s hard to find chicken musubi. I loved them. Anyway, this was delicious! I can see why they are known for the furikake chicken. The spaghetti mac salad is cool too, though for me…a bit bland. If you’re ever out there, give them a try!

Mixed Plate Friday

This post is forreal mixed plate, not even all food.

Fruit Chichi Dango | $3.99
strawberry, mochi flour, sugar, milk, red bean, custard

Been seeing this all over social media and just had to get it. This is from Kansai Yamato located in Moanalua 99 (former Ranch 99). I figured I should go to the source to get it.

Struggled to get a side view for you. First of all, you should keep this refrigerated. I didn’t realize it was custard on top at first so I kept it out for a bit and boy oh boy did it get melty and messy. Good news is that I did throw the second one in the fridge…ate it the next day and the mochi was still melt the mouth soft. This was a delicious treat! I would definitely get it again!

Clockwise from top left: Baked Char Siu Manapua, Taro Cake, Shrimp Dumpling (Har Gow), Siu Mai, Half Moon

Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery has been around forevers and they always have a long line in Chinatown. Now that we’re heading towards Moon Festival time (September), might be either best to avoid this place or place a phone order in because they are going to be super busy with moon cake orders. If you can believe it, I haven’t tried their dim sum before. I don’t know what it is, I guess if I’m going to be in Chinatown, I’m just going to eat at a Chinese restaurant you know?

So how does it compare? If you’re local to Hawaii and I say local style pork hash, I bet you know what I’m talking about right? The kind you can get from the manapua man….very different from the kind you get from a dim sum restaurant. Now while Sing Cheong’s siu mai looks more “local” style, I actually want to give it more credit and say it’s a balance between the manapua man siu mai and dim sum siu mai.

Baked Char Siu Manapua – Very good, I think Royal Kitchen is a near competitor but I will give this one to Sing Cheong.
Taro Cake – Hmm, no thank you. I’m used to homestyle taro cake which is very thin. I don’t know why taro cakes are so huge in these shops…to me it’s like eating a big lump of dough.
Har Gow – These are winners. They really do stuff it full of shrimp, nice skin too.
Siu Mai – Better than local style, still not as good as dim sum siu mai.
Half Moon – Good but not memorable. Nothing special.

A silly project I had a month ago. Shucks, wish I remembered to take a side picture of this. It’s actually Pikachu on the side. Such a cute vending machine, the bottom draw opens but the machine doesn’t actually do anything. It’s just super cute and it was super annoying to build…hahaha. This was over 2000 pieces and they were like super small pieces. I was obsessed to finish and am super happy with it. I have it proudly displayed at work. Apparently there is like a whole bunch of Asian building block sets that oh so gently copies Lego sets…for less money of course. Have a great weekend folks!

Capital Seafood – Los Angeles, CA

Figures my first real meal in Los Angeles would be Chinese food. Not just any Chinese food, dim sum. I think if asked, I would name dim sum as my favorite food. Then again, when I eat dim sum, I order off the regular menu as well (Seafood Chow Mein, y’all!). We ended up at Capital Seafood in Beverly Hills of all neighborhoods. How fancy are we? Not really. We pulled up in our Nissan Sentra and parked on the street, lol.

Not much to explain, it is the same dim sum dishes we can get here in Hawaii. I definitely prefer the dim sum chefs we have here in Hawaii compared to this place. The food was just okay, a bit pricey but considering the neighborhood, I did expect to be helping them pay rent. Good service, good food (good, not great). If you want some Chinese food in a nice setting, this place is it!

Steamed Minced Beef Ball
Shrimp Har Gao
Boiled Beef Tripe
Minced Beef Rice Noodle
Steamed Pork Dumpling

Tim Ho Wan – Waikiki, HI

I like to think that when I try new restaurants, I can let you folks know if it’s good or not to save you time. Well, let me save you some time. I don’t think Tim Ho Wan is worth it. There’s a bit of hullabaloo because they are a Michelin-star restaurant. Does that apply to all their chain restaurants too? Not too sure…when I visited Hong Kong in December 2017, I got to try them for the first time: click here for that post. They pride themselves on being the most affordable michelin-star dining experience, I don’t think that translates too well in Hawaii. I’m sure the rent they pay here is high, I personally don’t think the dim sum is that great. You can get better in Chinatown. And guess what? Hot tea, it costs $1.50 PER HEAD. When is the last time you heard a Chinese restaurant charging for hot tea? I was a bit perturbed by that. Well, let’s get to the pictures!

A nice pictorial of some menu items (actually this is almost all the menu items)

Full Menu – You mark off what items you want (click on the picture for full size photo)

Steamed Rice with Pork Spare Rib and Chicken Feet • $5.25

Would the description be better described as Steamed Rice with Pork Spare Ribs and Chicken FOOT? Haha, yes, just one foot. I do actually eat chicken feet dim sum…but restaurants usually cut the nails off. That’s a bit off-putting. This dish was just okay, I was hoping for a deeper black bean flavor on the spare ribs – just a real basic bowl.

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow) • $5.25

Again, another basic dish. I thought it was good, but not $5.25 good. They have a nice skin (pi) for their dumplings though.

Steamed Pork Dumplings with Shrimp (Siu Mai) • $5.25

Okay, I didn’t realize it when I was dining there but it’s looking like each dish is at least $5 each. This was just alright, once again, I prefer the siu mai in our Chinatown restaurants. I feel like the good restaurants in Chinatown have perfected the recipe with juicy morsels of the pork, shrimp, mushrooms that are chunked so I can savor each ingredients with each bite. This one just mixes everything a little too well…with each bite becoming a bit non-descript in textures.

Steamed Shrimp and Chives Dumplings • $5.00

This was one of the better dishes, I really enjoy the skin they make for their dim sum. Look at how translucent that skin is! Perfectly soft, almost melt in your mouth kine skin, I would recommend this dish.

Steamed Rice Roll stuffed with Mince Beef • $5.50

Another dish that was average but not bad. Once again, they make some really soft noodles and so it was enjoyable but not memorable.

Baked BBQ Pork Buns • $5.75

I confess, I’m not a big bao person. Not a fan of char siu bao and if I am, it’s definitely baked over steamed. These buns are supposed to be one of their specialties and I can see why. None of my dining companions wanted to eat it (man, baos get a bad rap huh?). I just had to try the buns so I had to order it…and had to eat it all. Well, it was pretty good! The buns are so light and crispy and flaky, which was messy to eat but so nice to eat fresh. The filling is very saucy and a bit sweet, I think I enjoyed the flakiness of the bun coupled with the saucy char siu. I definitely recommend at least trying this if you’re at Tim Ho Wan!

Ginger & Garlic – Chinatown, HI

Formerly Gold Fortune, Ginger & Garlic is now under new management and still serving up some good dim sum! And if you get the chance, spot out the guy with the majestic long hair. He’s almost like a unicorn to me, you don’t see much Chinese dudes with long wavy hair. He seems to take on different roles, I wonder if he’s an owner? Please enlighten me if you do know!

Seafood Bundle in Bead Curd • $4.95

One of my absolute favorite dim sum dishes. The bean curd wrapping is soft and holds together succulent morsels of seafood and a shiitake mushroom. I recommend this dish!

Shrimp Dumpling with Chives • $3.45

I like this dish, it’s not a must have for me but I like the thin skin of the dumpling and the shrimp and chives complement each other so well.

Shrimp Dumpling • $3.45

A staple in dim sum dining! It’s good here, not great.

Siu Mai • $3.45

This is my all time favorite dim sum dish. Nothing like the local kine (from da manapua man) – this is the real thing. I love it and they do it great here.

Seafood Chow Mein • $10.95

I have a soft spot for Seafood Chow Mein, not sure why. I think it stems from the Chinese parties I attended as a child, this was always a dish served to show wealth I’m sure. Every restaurant serves it up differently but I always enjoy it. While the crispy noodles are good, I actually like it when the noodles get soft under the gravy. Mmm…now I’m craving dim sum again…

Tim Ho Wan – Hong Kong

Hey Folks. I gotta be honest, it’s been a tough week and tonight’s drive home was harrowing. I’m not ready to discuss it yet since I am still shaken but no worries, I was not hurt or hit in any way. But sometimes, the almost can be just as bad. Stay safe out there folks, get some crazy people out there who will be completely illogical in their actions.

Let’s move onto better news. I’m going on a trip next week, yay! I’ll try to get some posts scheduled up for next week but I haven’t even started to pack yet…so wish me the best! I am heading out to Osaka! My first time there and I think we are going to catch the full bloom of the Sakura there, fingers crossed! Hoping for some great grinds and great deals. For now, I gotta keep trucking with the Hong Kong updates! Today’s post is another restaurant I was dying to try! Tim Ho Wan is “billed as the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant.” Cheap? Good. Michelin-starred? Good. Tim Ho Wan is actually gearing up to open a location in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center SOON! So how was it…?

Black Bean Spareribs on Rice (Chicken Feet Garnish, lol)

Beef Balls

Beef Cheung Fun

Haw Gor (Shrimp Dumpling)

Siu Mai (Pork Hash)

So how was the food? Good! Nothing stellar though, and I still think the dim sum we have Hawaii is the best. Is that weird? That I prefer dim sum made in Hawaii over dim sum in Hong Kong?? Maybe the dim sum in Hawaii is made to suit our taste buds more, but I don’t think there’s enough flavor and depth in these Hong Kong dim sums. Siu mai is usually my favorite dim sum but the Haw Gor was my favorite in this meal – the skin was so light and soft. I am still excited for the Waikiki location to open and would love to give it a try when they do!

Fook Lam – Chinatown, HI

I have so much pictures to catch up on! I hope you folks don’t mind, there will be a few posts coming with less detail than I’m used to giving because it has been so long. Hopefully you enjoy looking at pictures of food anyhow (who doesn’t?!). This post is from a previous visit to Fook Lam in Chinatown. I have a detailed post from my first visit there, found here. Let’s check out what I had at this visit!

150113-01Siu Mai – delicious of course. Can’t go wrong with dim sum pork hash.

150113-04Seafood Bundle – one of my favorites. I think it’s all the different elements. The bean curd wrapper, the seafood, the shiitake mushroom – I highly recommend it!


150113-03Seafood Chow Mein – this is my absolute favorite noodle dish from Chinese restaurants. It invokes memories of childhood parties in Chinese restaurants. I love the seafood gravy and topping, the crispy noodles that are half crispy and soft from the gravy. So much texture and flavor, still one of my favorites of all time. The one here is okay, I think you can see that the vegetables outweigh the seafood.


150113-06Xiao Long Bao – supposedly one of their signature dishes. I didn’t enjoy it, I didn’t think it was great. I assume you can get it better in China but I was not impressed. The concept behind this dumpling is that you bite into it and release the soup contained in the dumpling as you eat. It’s an interesting way to make dumplings. I’ve never made it before but I assume they just freeze broth and stick it into the dumpling frozen and it melts when you steam the dumplings. They serve these dumplings with a red vinegar sauce. I just think the way these dumplings are made are more interesting than how it tastes. I wouldn’t recommend it from this restaurant.

Fook Lam – Chinatown, HI

Fook Lam was a 50/50 chance. Why? Any Chinese restaurant that has good ratings on Yelp could be a restaurant that pleases the crowds and not necessarily the Chinese folk. I’ve gotten plenty flack from my friend who insists I take her to authentic Chinese restaurants so the pressure is on. She won’t let me forget a certain Chinese restaurant we went to…which I never claimed was authentic Chinese. Aiya, the pressures of being Chinese. Anyway, I finally got to try Fook Lam out a few weeks ago and I liked it. It’s located in the Chinese Cultural Plaza on the first floor facing River Street. The restaurant is clean and they get plenty good eats. The waitresses are fast and efficient and parking is validated. I haven’t been to Cultural Plaza since kid times so I didn’t realize how nice their parking lot is. I mean compared to the other places I have parked, their parking spaces are spacious! Let’s check out the food shall we?

140729-01Shrimp and Chive Dumpling – I prefer the pan fried one to the steamed one

140729-02Black Bean Spare Ribs – delish!

140729-03Shrimp Dumpling – good!

140729-04Seafood Roll – good as always. Always winnas.

140729-05Baked Custard Bun – These were fresh out of the oven and heavenly. One of my most favorite sweets…ever.

140729-06Siu Mai – I know pork hash isn’t loved by all…but I have always loved it. One of the dining companions commented that the skin on these dim sum dishes were great. Not hard and thick (don’t say it!) – just the right amount of softness.

140729-07Deep Fried Shrimp Balls – not bad, not great. I think you pay for the looks…hehe.


140729-08Short Ribs Look Fun – I saw this picture repeatedly on Yelp and just had to try it. Eh, it was alright. It wasn’t spectacular. It was just look fun mixed in with spareribs. Nothing special, glad I tried it but I won’t be ordering it again.

Dim Sum Brunch – Happy Days Seafood Restaurant

I hope you all had a great 4th of July! I did a lot of eating and then sleeping. Ha! I joined the gym at work on Thursday, only paid for a month in case I ditch out. Don’t wanna lose out money. Well for someone who hasn’t worked out in a long while, a spinning class wasn’t the best start. I also had a very late lunch and ate too much….I think you guys know where I’m going with this. Long story short, I threw up afterwards. Hahaha..but I am still intending on going back! I enjoyed the class but will try to be better prepared next time. I’d like to at least do simple workouts since I already paid into the membership for a month and I have no excuse since the gym is at work!

Anyhow, not much else to update. Just wanted to share a recent brunch I had at Happy Days. I love myself some dim sum. Always willing to dim sum more. That was a bad joke, I know. Here are the pictures to make up for it.


Black Bean Spare Ribs


Seafood Bundle (includes fish, imitation crab, scallop, shiitake mushroom, and shrimp wrapped in a thin bean curd skin)

Meat Ball – this has a type of green mixed in. I want to say it’s watercress but I am not entirely sure.


Siu Mai

Bean Curd Rolls


Pan Fried Shrimp and Chive Dumpling

Taro Puff


Turnip Cake

Char Hung Sut – Chinatown, HI

Char Hung Sut is located in a super safe neighborhood and serves up awesome food. April Fools! Okay only about the super safe neighborhood part. You gotta admit, Char Hung Sut’s location is in a less than desirable location but the food makes it well worth the trip. Can you believe I have never tried it until about a month ago? I’m definitely a fool for that. Everything I have had here has proven to be awesome. It’s also helpful that I go super early before work so I can just park on the street and jump in…free meter parking! I was amazed by the person who helped me. I think he’s the owner’s grandson. I ordered all kinds of stuff in random numbers and he magically added them all up on a piece of paper manually…then added tax all in his head. I was amazed. Then again, I’m terrible at math so anything would amaze me. He had talent!

140401-01Love the packaging. It’s becoming like a theme huh?

140401-02Taro Cake. Look at how thick this was! Definitely not the kind of taro cake I’m used to, but I’m not complaining. I thought it was interesting that they had a black bean sauce in it.

140401-03Look at all these nummies; pork hash, half moon and yip chai (with pork)!

140401-04Here’s the filling of the yip chai. Delicious. It’s also the same filling in the half moon – so good!

140401-05Chow Fun – $6.25

140401-06The most flavorful “haole” chow fun I have ever had. I call any chow fun haole if its not dark like the Chinese ones. This was SO good…so much flavor packed into these noodles. The garlic chives make a big difference. Definitely winners.