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Maunakea Marketplace Eats: Triple One and 369 Singapore Asian Noodle Shops

Finding a place to eat in Chinatown can be a game of Jan-Ken-Po (rock-paper-scissors) if you don’t know who’s the best at what. Should I go for Dim Sum at Tai Pan (rock), Fook Lam (paper) or Yee Hong (scissors)? Last hand to win is it.

Another case-in-point is here at Maunakea Marketplace Food Court, right in the heart of Chinatown, where there’s a variety of Filipino, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese delicatessens; all of which serve the same ethnic specialties in their given category.

Like Filipino food? Well, there’s not just one, not two, but SIX different vendors in there offering their take on the likes of Adobo, Pinakbet and Dinuguan. Take your pick. Actually, I’d recommend Naty’s if you want some masarap-sarap Filipino grindz.

Here today we stop by two Chinese/Malaysian/Singaporean noodle shops set-up next to each other on one end of the food court, with one called Triple One Fast Food, and the other 369 Singapore Asian Food, who also both compete side-by-side serving practically the same variety of noodle soups.


Note, the photos in this post (except for the last 3 postscript) were taken with an entry-level Powershot A470, which I’m not familiar with its settings

We didn’t know the name of these places before going there, which had I known, I would have “Yelped It” beforehand to help me decide which one to try and what to order. Could have used my phone, but ah, nevah mind. At this point, my choice is made on a whim, along with one unknown “insider” who suggested to me as I stood there pondering, to go with 369.

As it turns out, the “Laksa” from Triple One sounds like the one to try, as according to several Yelpers, including “Alfred S.”, it’s describes like this, “Laksa, laksa, laksa!  I am absolutely hooked on this stuff.  Laksa is a common southeast asia dish.  This malaysia/singapore dish is packed with flavors.  The best way I can describe it is a fish stock with tamarind and coconut milk  served with two different types of noodles, fish cake,tofu, bean sprouts and shrimp.” Sounds awesome, and certainly a dish I’ll definitely return there to try.

Similar to Triple One (which I didn’t get any photos of, sorry), next door here at 369 Asian Foods, there’s seemingly 1001 ways to dress asian noodle soup…

As you can see, like that Furniture Discount Warehouse guy says on their commercials, the prices here at both these noodle shops truly are “so low, it’s INSANE!” Everything averaging right around $4? That is insane. And these are regular-sized saimin bowls now, not no mini-bowls.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

As it turns out, the shrimp aren’t quite as large as the ones depicted, yet who am I to complain for the price!

Ah, I see they have Singapore Laksa here at 369 Asian Food as well. I suppose when we go back, we’ll have to do a Laksa shootout!

That roast duck sure looks good.

The golden round wonton balls are shrimp wontons, white round balls are fish, and the green stuff Choy Sum (a Chinese variety of cabbage). I LOVE Choy Sum, and keep it in my refrigerator crisper bin on a regular basis, often simply sauteing it in garlic butter as a side dish or snack. Yum.

I remember shmall keed (small kid) time, our neighborhood “Manapua Man” in the infamous white cargo van used sell these Honey Twists…

That, along with Chow Funn in the wax-paper-lined paper tray and Hau Flakes. Ah the memories of the good ‘ole “hanabaddah dayz”.

So here’s Diner E’s dish, err, make that bowl from next door neighbor Triple One…


Triple One Fast Food – Asian Noodle Combo “E” (hypothetical designation): Lo Mein Noodles, Shrimp, Roast Duck, Charsiu and Choy Sum. $4.25

Diner A’s…


Triple One Fast Food – Asian Noodle Combo “A” (hypothetical designation): Lo Mein Noodles, Shrimp, Pork and Shrimp Wontons, Charsiu and Choy Sum. $4.25

Finally my choice from 369 Singapore Asian Food…

369 Singapore Asian Food – Asian Noodle Combo “P” (hypothetical designation): Lo Mein Noodles, Shrimp, Pork and Shrimp Wontons, Charsiu and Choy Sum. $4.25

I just can’t over the price. INSANE.

O.K., let’s try it. Here you see as Diner A picks up the Lo Mein noodles from Triple One, just how STICKY they are, remaining all clumped together…

Same deal with mine from next door neighbor 369 Singapore Asian Food…

I actually found the lo mein noodles a bit TOO sticky, glutenous and outright chewy for my taste. However Diner E said he likes his noodles like that. I certainly rather have it more chewy than soggy, but not THAT chewy. I mean so much so, where I had to chomp on them at least several times before being able to swallow it. Any more, and it’d be bubble gum in noodle form. lol

As for the broth, it tasted like your typical Chinese style shrimp-based wonton min in its flavor profile, being rather subtle at that. There wasn’t any distinct flavor I could make out of it, I suppose because of all the different toppings that sort of muddled it.

Speaking of toppings, the best of the bunch by far was the pork and shrimp wontons, where I’d recommend if you go here, make sure that’s a part of the combo’ you order. There’s a whole piece of small shrimp tail in it, surrounded by mildly seasoned ground pork. Tasty!

The charsiu was, eh, O.K., however I’ve had better. At least it was tender. The shrimp tails were also just eh, O.K., but as you can imagine, didn’t absorb any of the flavor of the broth, so eating it by itself or with the noodles was pretty ordinary.

Finally, Choy Sum always works for me, so that of course sealed the deal in green.

Summing it up, I give 369 Singapore Asian’s Combo “C” Noodle Soup 2 SPAM Musubi, while Diner A and E gives their Noodle Soup from next door neighbor Triple One, 3 SPAM Musubi.

I’m definitely gonna’ go back for that Singaporean Laksa!

Triple One Fast Food
1120 Maunakea Street (in the Maunakea Marketplace Food Court)
Honolulu, Hawaii  96817

Tel. (808) 533-4264

The Tasty Island rating:

(3) Very Good. Considerable of another visit or purchase. (Supah’ Ono!)

369 Singapore Asian Food
1120 Maunakea Street (in the Maunakea Marketplace Food Court)
Honolulu, Hawaii  96817

Tel. (808) 524-3409

The Tasty Island rating:

(2) Good. I’m glad I tried it. (Ono)

Related links:
Triple One Fast Food – Yelp user reviews
Singapore Asian Noodle – Yelp user reviews

P.S. Taking a stroll through Chinatown right around Maunakea Marketplace, I noticed a shop (the name escapes me) had the elusive Fried Dace for sale…

Since getting my Canon S95, I’ve been experimenting with the manual settings in both Aperture Priority and Custom mode, but gosh darned it, I couldn’t get shallow depth-of-field, where the background of the beach and Diamond Head would be blurred out in this shot…


2012 Year of the Dragon Boat


Canoes at “Kaiser’s”


Hilton Lagoon

17 thoughts on “Maunakea Marketplace Eats: Triple One and 369 Singapore Asian Noodle Shops

  • January 30, 2012 at 7:14 pm
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    Have you tried The Pig and the Lady’s pho (or any soup for that matter)? Mama Le is the BOMB with her broth. Can’t wait for them to start up again (their dinner tonight is a one time thing for Travel & Leisure magazine). Other than that, they’re at KCC, Blaisdell and the Kailua Farmer’s Markets.

    Reply
  • January 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm
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    You should try the look fun or jook at Lam’s Kitchen in Chinatown. The prices there are good too. Hope to see it on your site someday!

    Reply
  • January 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm
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    I think if you ate the Triple One it wouldn’t be so chewy…Oh mine was the one with the roast duck…was OK but really like the Shrimp Wun Tun better!

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  • January 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm
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    Always a fan of this site, just wanted to make a comment about your Canon S95 and trying to get that dragon boat with a shallow DOF. It is very difficult to get shallow DOF with a wide-zoom as shown in the picture, you have to zoom at least 3x-4x (in SLR lenses, at least 35 mm for most cameras) to start to have a shallower DOF. So make sure to have some distance from the dragon and zoom in, you’ll notice that Diamond Head in the backdrop will look considerably closer than in the wide-zoom picture. Make sure your aperture is as low as possible, and take a shot!

    Reply
  • January 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm
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    Pomai, yeah I always found the Chinese noodle for soup a bit sticky. I like E mein the one use for wonton mein soup in restaurants much better for me.

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  • January 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm
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    So what exactly are Gau Gee? Difference between fried and regular? We don’t see them much in the 206 and I think when I Googled it, it was like a deep fried won ton. I thought I saw them in soup on one of those menus? Strolled through the marketplace in the fall and unfortunately wasn’t hungry at the time. Got some char siu to take back to the hotel where the lady had produce bags on her hands instead of rubber gloves and the guys were off loading a couple pigs off the back of the truck. Don’t see that much in Seattle’s Chinatown.

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    • January 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm
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      When I grew up, Gau Gee were like an elongated Won Ton. But thicker stuffing. And yes, often deep fat fried. Stuffed with pork or shrimp, green onions, beansprouts, chestnuts, etc. All finely chopped with herbs.

      Reply
  • February 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm
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    Gau gee is an entity that is only found in Hawaii. It is like a won ton on steroids, with a lot of added yummy ingredients and is a lot more flavorful. It is enjoyed both fried and boiled. There is a great book written by a U C Santa Barbara professor, Dr. A Zee, entitled, “Swallowing Clouds” where he associates the pleasure of eating those boiled dumplings to the title of his book.

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  • February 2, 2012 at 3:50 am
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    Pomai, there nothing wrong with the noodle it was not cooked at the right temperature. In the film Tampopo her teacher said the water should be boiling not just hot. Reading your entry made me want to watch Tampopo and eat noodle soup .

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  • May 30, 2012 at 11:23 pm
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    Bro, the Laksha that the guys on the right serve is the best. DO NOT go to the one on the right.

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  • May 30, 2012 at 11:23 pm
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    I mean the guys on the left are tops, the guys on the right are iffy.

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  • September 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm
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    I went to check out 369 Singapore Asian Noodle today and they are no longer there. A woman nearby told me they’ve been gone for a moonth.

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    • August 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm
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      Paul,

      Not sure about Triple One, however, as you see in my reply above, 369 Singapore Asian Noodle was no longer there back in late 2012.

      If you go to Yelp, they’re both still listed as open, however I’d call (they’re currently closed) to double check. See Yelp.

      Reply
      • August 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm
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        Mahalo Pomai.

        There is another place for your Laksa ( curry + coconut milk broth) fix and that is Panya. They have since moved from Ala Moana to a new location in Kaka’ako.
        Also, if you enjoy Malaysian/Singaporean cooking, you can try Green House, located on Nuuanu Avenue. It’s a tiny restaurant and they do mostly take-aways.

        Reply
        • August 10, 2013 at 8:09 am
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          Paul,

          Right back at ya’ for the recommendation on Green House. Any south Asian food is right up there at the top for me! I forgot all about following-up with a Laksa “mission”. I’ll try Panya’s take on it. Any reason to go to Ala Moana now is a good reason, as far as I’m concerned. Ha!

          Reply

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