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Favorite Chinese on Oahu

Hawaii’s 2014 Narcissus Queen: Brittany Wi Lin Lee. Image courtesy of Honolulu Magazine.

While Hawaii’s annual Chinese Chamber of Commerce’ Narcissus Queen Pageant celebrates the finest Chinese women in the islands, we’re talking here about favorite Chinese eateries. Specifically on Oahu, whether it’s the neighborhood mom ‘n pop or fancy Dragon Lady affair, Cantonese or Szechuan, Dim Sum or takeout, you name it.

Tasty Island reader and Oregonian native BigBoyChan will be visiting Oahu soon, and wants to know where he can find the best Crispy Gau Gee and Cake Noodle in town; the latter of which is known to be unique to the islands. Yet of course, there’s much more to the fantastic Chinese cuisine to be had here in the 808.

That said, Please share where’s your favorite Chinese eatery on Oahu? Who serves great Chinese at great (reasonable) prices? What dish(s) is your favorite that they’re most known for and best at? Look Funn? Cake Noodle? Crispy Gau Gee? Sweet & Sour Shrimp? Honey Walnut Shrimp? Manapua? Roast Pork? Roast Duck? Steamed Fish? Abalone Soup? The list goes on and on.

If you know, please also specify what regional Chinese cuisine they specialize in, such as Cantonese, Szechuan, Anhui, Shandong, Fujian, Jiangsu, Hunan, Zhejiang, Xinjiang, Mongolian, Tibetan, or Panda Expressian.

Xie xie

• Chinese Restaurants on Oahu on Yelp
The Tasty Island Chinese category archives:

Kin Wah Chop Suey (Kaneohe) – Pot Roast Duck with Noodle Soup. $7.75

Kin Wah – Tofu with Vegetables and Oyster Sauce (and Black Bean Chili Paste)

Kin Wah – Kau Yuk, Spareribs, Beef Broccoli, Crisp Gau Gee, Fried Shrimp and Rice.

Little Village Noodle House (Chinatown) – Peking Duck Bau

Little Village Noodle House – Honey Walnut Shrimp

Little Village Noodle House – Beef Broccoli on Cake Noodle

Wah Kung Chinese Restaurant (MapunaPuna) – Stuffed Eggplant

Wah Kung – Minute Chicken Cake Noodle

Wah Kung – Steamed Sole

Alicia’s Market – Local Chinese style Roasted Turkey Tails and Charsiu Pork Ribs (with Kim Chee & Potato Salad)

Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – Pork with Bitter Melon

Chun Wah Kam – Charsiu Manapua, BBQ Chicken Manapua, Chow Fun & Pork Hash

Chun Wah Kam – Crispy Gau Gee with Sweet & Sour Sauce, a.k.a. “Kee-pee Gau Shee Sha’oh Sah” (catered)

Libby Manapua Shop – Gon Lau Mein & Chow Fun Noodles, Steamed Charsiu Manapua, chicken Manapua * Curry Shrimp Spring Rolls

Fook Lam (Chinatown; River St. & Beretania Ave.) – Crispy Egg Cream (custard) Dim Sum dessert

16 thoughts on “Favorite Chinese on Oahu

  • April 9, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Thank you so much, Pomai. I’ve never been to Kin Wah, and never been to Little Village, but have always wanted to try both. I’ll have a car, and know my way around pretty well. I’ll go to Kahuku, or Kaneohe, or anywhere. I like ANYTHING. Pigs tail soup, chicken feet, tripe… you name it. The wife is not super fond of Dim Sum (her loss), but she and the kids (15-18) will try anything.

    I guess we’re always too busy exploring Hawaiian, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Okinawan, Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino, etc., etc. Since we can get “Chinese” close to where I live, I just don’t think of it when I get over to Oahu. Having said that, the Chinese food close to where I live is not very good. I realize that asking about good Chinese is like coming to the Mainland from China and asking for good “American food.” Lots and lots of regions, choices, degrees of spiciness… I could go on.

    Should make for some interesting responses, though. Once again, and in advance, thank you all.

  • April 9, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Not being from O’ahu I haven’t eaten at a lot of places there ,but I will agree with Pomai on Kin Wah on the windward side. Another favorite if they are still around, is Wong and Wong in China town, near the chinese candy store….three words, Black Bean Oysters. I really miss the old Patti’s Chinese Kitchen, before the food court…Heaven.

  • April 9, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I like all the food you showed. Since being Chinese and know how to cook many these dishes and with cousins who own Chinese Restaurants in Waipahu and on Maui it no problem to enjoyed lot of things. I like food from Taiwan they different for Hawaii Chinese food but very good still. Mom Cantonese and late father Mandarin food combine together at home at time.

  • April 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    @ Amy – well, with all due respect (I always appreciate your presence here!), you weren’t very much help, AMY! lol Common’ you’re Chinese, drop some restaurant names!

    @ Dean-San – There’s a replacement for Patti’s Chinese Kitchen in the Ala Moana Food Court called Chinatown Express that’s actually even more extensive in Chinese offerings than Patti’s was. Never tried them though. The reviews are hit or miss on Yelp…

    @ BigBoyChan – If you want a place that does pretty much all those plantation ethnic groups cuisine quite well to excellent, (including EXCELLENT Chinese Roast Pork and Turkey Tails), look no further than Alicia’s Market! Your teenage daughters may be a little squeemish at the intense “cultural” food there, yet once they try it, I can almost guarantee they’ll be wanting to come back again and again. They’ll be back in Oregon saying, “Dad, when are flying back to Hawaii? I miss Alicia’s ono kine’ Hawaii grinds!”

    And while we’re on Alicia’s Market (they also serve good Hawaiian food), as I’ve repeated a number of times lately, you MUST check out the new Highway Inn in Kaka’ako. No ka oi Hawaiian Kaukau!

    • April 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      We were last on Oahu for Thanksgiving 2013. The very first thing we did when we got off the plane and got our car was drive to Alicia’s for lunch. We know it well and love it much. Except for the parking. We’re definitely going to the new Highway Inn. Mmmm, lau lau and squid luau, and … We’re staying at the Ala Moana Hotel, a nice little walk to din din.

  • April 9, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    MING YUEN MAUI- Stuff Duck with sweet rice, Char Siu Pork, Fried pork rice
    Shark’s Fin soup, Hopping stew, House noodles
    Ginger chicken, Steam fish and Clams with black beans.

  • April 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Kin Wah – a name that is/was ahead of its time. Quinoa. Kin Wah. Winna!

  • April 10, 2014 at 2:51 am

    OK, OK, I will tell you some the places or known as Chop Suey joints my family like head to eat. Not sure of Golden Duck my cousin use work there as dim sum chef move. Mui Kwai Chop Suey on Liliha St is cheap and not bad but get what you pay for. Happy Days on Liliha Sq is good with dim sum serve in day time. Hoy Tin Chop Suey rock on Liliha St. food is Cantonese. All other also Cantonese.

    I could go on and on and on but time for my excercise workout after all these restaurants.

  • April 10, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Cantonese food is awesome. I prefer fried oysters the way Cantonese make it in special batter and serve with spice salt and sweet and sour sauce. Salt and pepper shrimps is always good and pork belly with steam buns known as Kow Yuk. Beef stew in claypot and lemon chicken.

    All Cantonese restaurants have it and should not be a problem to find.

    • April 10, 2014 at 6:34 am

      I still would not knock PF Chang due to my buddy worked there food also very good. Funny my parents like Chinese Restaurants with name have Chop Suey in it saying food taste better. As for me it does not matter in name it food in the place.

  • April 10, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Don’t forget to bring- Roast pork to make pinakbet.
    Roast duck for noodle soup.
    Thank you, Salamat Po

  • May 2, 2014 at 5:26 am

    It was never great, but plentiful, I miss Fatty’s Chinese Food. I hope they relocate.

    And I wore black for a month after they closed the last Patti’s Chinses Food.

    Current fave Chinese for big deal meal is probably Fook Lam or Little Village, but Pah Ke if I am Windward.

  • May 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    OK, Pomai, here’s the rundown. My family and I had a WONDERFUL time on our recent, way-too-short, trip to Honolulu. First, Chinese. We went to Little Village Noodle House and had a delicious dinner, night before last. The service was great, and the food was too. Other than the old Patti’s at Ala Moana, it was the only Chinese restaurant that I’ve been to in Hawaii, and I’m glad (with yours and your reader’s help) I found it. I’ll definitely go again, and now have a list of others just waiting to be explored.

    Also we went to Alicia’s, Queens Super Market (love their Kim Chee), Yakiniku Don-Day (thanks, Yelp), the Shirokiya and Ala Moana food courts (both, many times), Pho One, Giovanni’s, Don Quijote, etc., etc.

    I’d have to say that my favorite meal of the trip was at the new Highway Inn. I completely pigged out there, and so did the wife and kids. I had a Super Combo with a couple of added sides, and ate every bite. Loved the lau lau, the lomi salmon, the Kalua pig, the squid luau… and the pipikaula was the best I’d ever had. I’ve been to Ono Hawaiian Food and Helena’s, a number of times, and I really like them both and will return, but this place was right up there with them, if not better. The atmosphere was nice, the service was great, and the smells coming out of that hustle-bustle kitchen were so killah.

    Back in Oregon now, and I’m still thinking about the food over there, and when I’ll be able to return.

    PS- A real highlight of the trip was taking plate lunches from Alicia’s up to the Pu’u Ualaka’a State Park. We’d never been up there, and the view was breathtaking. You’re a lucky man to live in such a blessed place.

    • May 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm


      Huge mahalo for the thorough recap! I told you Highway Inn was the BOMB. Not just the ono Hawaiian food, but the nice ambiance, especially being it’s a new restaurant (their original location is still way out in Waipa-HOO). Glad you could make to Alicia’s and Little Village Noodle House as well. Both those places are a bit high priced (for what it is), yet the taste and quality are outstanding. The area surrounding both Alicia’s Market (Kalihi-Kai mixed residential/industrial area) and Little Village Noodle House (Chinatown) are also “seedy” looking from the outside, yet once you step foot within, it’s like you’re in foodie paradise! Still, I bet your daughters were telling you, “Dad, where are these people recommending you take us? Looks SCARY!” lol

      Must have been nice taking in the views looking over Honolulu from above Round Top Drive (Tantalus) while whacking an ono plate lunch from Alicia’s. What exactly did you folks order there? Their Pasteles are really ono, as is their Hawaiian food, Chinese roast meats and killer sashimi!

      Regarding Pho One, I should have told you to check out Pho Bistro 2, which is just a block up from Waikiki. EXCELLENT Vietnamese food, including Pho and a killer local style Oxtail Soup! For Vietnamese, next time you visit, also check out Bac Nam on King Street. Awesome, and so reasonably priced.

      What can I say? Hawaii No Ka Oi! :-)

      • May 3, 2014 at 5:53 pm

        My girls are hard asses, for a couple of blonde, haole, teen age girls. They’re used to me draggin’ them to all sorts of funky little hole-in-the-wall places. We all love Pho Bistro 2, but we thought we’d try something else. Hadn’t been to Pho One for about 5 or 6 years. I had the oxtail soup there, and it wasn’t nearly as good as Pho B2. I compare all others to theirs. Plus, I like that older woman who I think owns Pho Bistro 2. She’s always really nice to us. Have you every tried To Chau? It’s really good, but only open for lunch. And the parking kind of sucks. I LOVE the broth they make and their spring rolls, though.

        Let’s see… at Alicia’s… We had a Hawaiian plate, a Char Siu and Roast Duck plate, a Pastele plate, a couple of poke bowls, and some boiled peanuts. There were five of us traveling. It can even be a bigger pain to try and park there, but I know how good it all is, so I’m always willing to wait. Alicia’s is almost always the first place we stop when we get off the plane, but this time we went to Foodland and bought a bunch of Poke because we needed sunscreen and other stuff.

        Bac Nam on King will be on my list! (Funny, but as I check restaurants off my list in Honolulu, it just seems to get longer and longer).

        I gotta agree with you, my friend, Hawaii No Ka Oi!


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