Stopping Time for Minute Chicken Cake NoodleColumns Ono, You Know
September 17, 2011
Story By: Dining Out Team |
Just one minute can change everything, especially when my hunger is concerned! This week, I didn’t waste any time in satisfying my intense craving for the one and only minute chicken cake noodle. Sure, it’s obvious that I love food, but also know that I’m nuts for noodles!
So, being that there are 60 minutes in an hour and 1,440 minutes in a day, there was plenty of time for me to seek out the perfect cake noodle paired with tender morsels of minute chicken swimming in gravy goodness — and I must admit, minute chicken cake noodle is one of the best local masterpieces yet!
With this said, I ventured out to some of the most onolicious Chinese restaurants around town to treat my hungry stomach and grateful taste buds to this simple, yet locally revered “Ono, You Know” favorite. So, read on, grab your chopsticks and be ready to slurp up a storm!
Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
Let’s face it, it’s evident that there are many stresses upon us each and every day, and sometimes we just need to take a break and spoil ourselves with comforting cuisine. With that, my first stop was at Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant, conveniently located at Ala Moana Center’s Hookipa Terrace. As soon as I set foot inside this 8,250-square-foot upscale restaurant, where sparkling chandeliers hang from the ceiling, manager Gary Lam escorted me to a private dining area and presented me with the restaurant’s outstandingly delicious Minute Chicken Cake Noodle.
Priced at $13.95, Jade Dynasty’s Minute Chicken Cake Noodle is surprisingly not listed on the menu, but that doesn’t stop customers, including myself, from requesting it. There’s no doubt that this noodle dish is in high demand.
“Of course, we can meet the requests of diners, it’s easy to do,” Lam says. “Minute chicken cake noodle is an island favorite.”
The noodles are cooked to perfection and topped with flavorful pieces of chicken and fresh choy sum.
“We pan-fry the noodles first and then sautee the chicken with garlic cloves, sliced green onions and a bit of oyster sauce.”
It’s quite possible to say that minute chicken cake noodle is not the most decadent of dishes, but simplicity is key, as each forkful (or chopsticks) of noodle also signifies long life and good luck. Add to that the most tender of chicken and a nice portion of greens, and you’re in for a treat! All entrees at Jade Dynasty are recommended to share family-style, but when it’s minute chicken cake noodle we’re talking about, you can leave it to me to slurp up every last noodle and every drop of gravy.
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd. #4220
View the Map
Hee Hing Restaurant
This family-owned and operated establishment has welcomed diners since 1984 and is highly regarded for its renowned local Chinese cuisine. When I think of Hee Hing, comfort food is the first thing that comes to mind. Having been raised in a Chinese family, favorites such as minute chicken cake noodle will always remain a staple in my diet.
“We’d like to think that we’re the inventor of the cake noodle,” says Hee Hing Restaurant director Michael Lee. “Long ago my grandfather was experimenting with the noodles and it actually caught on, becoming very popular with the locals here.”
I’m oodles for noodles of course, but I have to say that cake noodle is my No. 1 pick. In fact, Lee shared with me the secret behind creating the perfect cake noodle.
“The art of making cake noodle is a slow process. You can’t rush it, you can’t deep fry it, it just has to be cooked slowly — wok-seared.
“The way to know you have a good cake noodle is that it’s crisp with a golden, tender exterior,” Lee explains. “Then as soon as you take your first bite you can hear a crunch, and the noodle becomes very soft and moist.”
What sets Hee Hing’s Minute Chicken Cake Noodle ($10.50) apart from the rest is definitely its wok-seared boneless minute chicken, which is marinated with oyster sauce and other special ingredients, and then cut into bite-size pieces.
When plated, the chicken and Chinese vegetables (ong choy or choy sum) are placed atop a bed of mouthwatering cake noodle and doused with Hee Hing’s flavorful house gravy and bits of green onion. So, it’s no surprise that this remarkable dish is ranked among the establishment’s top five most-requested items.
While this popular entree is five-star cuisine for sure, I couldn’t help but wonder why it’s referred to as “minute” chicken. No worries, Lee was quickly able to provide me with the answer.
“It’s called minute chicken because you basically cook the chicken for less than a minute — the portions are really small, it doesn’t take long at all,” he says.
Catering a party? Hee Hing can hook you up with takeout platters, as well. And don’t forget about the special menu, available until the end of the month, featuring minute chicken cake noodle (inquire within).
449 Kapahulu Ave. Ste. 101
View the Map
Lung Fung Chinese Restaurant
Located at Niu Valley Shopping Center, Lung Fung Chinese Restaurant presents its loyal patrons with a bounty of chop suey-style creations that grace its ever-expansive menu. Since opening its doors in East Oahu in 1981, restaurant manager Eddie Ma says loyal diners flock from nearby neighborhoods to feast their palates on authentic Chinese cuisine, along with other local faves.
“It’s important that we use quality products here,” Ma states, “along with focusing on old-fashioned Chinese cooking, including dishes like sweet-sour spare ribs, crispy gau gee, lemon chicken, beef broccoli, and minute chicken cake noodle — however, we’re also slowly introducing new items to the menu.”
An oldie, but goodie, Minute Chicken Cake Noodle ($9.95) is a must-have for hungry diners. It features the traditional oyster sauce-based cake noodle topped off with boneless minute chicken and accompanied with healthy ong choy.
“I realize that minute chicken cake noodle is a combination of Chinese and local tastes, and before I came to Hawaii, I had never heard of it,” Ma says with a laugh.
“We’ll always offer this noodle dish. Everyone knows about minute chicken cake noodle, it’s so solid in their minds,” he adds, “but we want to bring along more Hong Kong cuisine, so people can expect that.”
Yes, there’s something special about this addicting noodle dish — it has the X-factor for sure!
Niu Valley Shopping Center
5724 Kalanianaole Hwy.
377-5555 or 377-5566
View the Map