Chinese Cuisine Fit For a King
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Customers at Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant can expect a “royal treatment” of sorts with reasonable dim sum prices, flavorful entrees and large party accommodations.
“You get the real Chinese experience of Hong Kong-style dim sum at affordable prices,” says Sherman Lam, manager of the Chinatown eatery.
Although Howard Lam — Sherman’s father — first opened Golden Palace in 2000, the restaurant hasn’t changed much, with the exception of special party menus and the expansion of the second floor banquet hall.
“We had it (the second floor banquet hall) since we first opened, but we have (since) expanded it,” says Lam, who helps his parents run the eatery, along with his older brother, Gary. “Right now, it accommodates about 400 people. I think there’s only one or two other Chinese restaurants in Hawaii that has this capacity. We have private stages, no corkage fee and if we have smaller parties, we partition off a smaller section (for the party).
A lot of times, guests who come to the parties don’t even know that we have that (banquet hall).”
While many first birthday parties and large dinners are held at the restaurant’s banquet hall, Golden Palace remains busy on a daily basis, especially for breakfast and lunch. What some customers may not be aware of is the eatery’s dim sum takeout service, which is located near the restaurant’s front entrance. Customers can choose containers of various sizes and fill them with different dim sum options before paying for their meals.
“Some customers don’t really know what it is (the takeout area), so they just walk right past it,” Lam says. “It’s (dim sum takeout) from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. All our dim sum is set at one price — $1.98 per basket — and most baskets have about three pieces each. The average person spends about $6 (on dim sum).”
When it comes to customer dim sum favorites, Lam notes the Steamed Chive Dumpling with Shrimp, Steamed Spinach Dumpling with Scallops, Custard Tart, Pork Shu Mai and the Baked Char Siu Manapua.
“For the Baked Char Siu Manapua, we actually have two types,” Lam explains. “One is baked with a char siu filling and the other one has a custard filling. Both are equally popular; a lot of people who are visiting here come and pick up a lot of these.”
Other popular dim sum choices include the Steamed Look Funn ($3.90 each), which are freshly steamed noodles that come with beef, shrimp, scallops or char siu. When it comes to the signature dim sum dishes, though, Lam says the Baked Char Siu Manapua and the Pork Shu Mai are the most requested.
While Golden Palace is known for its variety of dim sum dishes at reasonable prices, the restaurant also offers a variety of entrees. For lunch, it is popular for customers to order a main entree, then choose several dim sum dishes. Signature items include the House Special Chow Mein ($6.95) — fried noodles with a mixture of seafood, chicken, pork and vegetables — and the Minute Chicken Cake Noodle ($6.95). Boneless Chicken with Malaysian Sauce ($7.95), Honey Walnut Shrimp ($9.95), Pot Roast Pork “Kau Yuk” ($6.95) and Law Hon Jai ($5.95) are other featured favorites.
“The Law Hon Jai is a vegetarian dish with ingredients like snow peas, carrots, mushrooms and rice noodles,” says Lam. “We started having this dish during this past Chinese
New Year and it was really popular. A lot of people liked it so we just continued having it. The Boneless Chicken features a sauteed sauce with bell peppers and onions, and the Honey Walnut Shrimp has honey-glazed walnuts.”
A noteworthy dish customers won’t find on the menu is the Golden Pompano ($20), a recently created entree that is often ordered family-style.
“The Golden Pompano is a whole fish cleaned and slow cooked in vegetable oil,” says Lam.
Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant
- 111 North King Street
- Honolulu, HI 96817
- (808) 521-8268
- Open daily
- 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.