Quality Cuisine Means It’s Gonna Be a Nice Day

Digest Foodie Fare

October 29, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

It’s just before noon on a week-day, and Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant is bustling with excited chatter from its lunchtime crowd.

Dim sum carts filled with tasty treats like Steamed Char Siu Buns ($2.30), Bamboo Rolls ($2.50) and Look Funn Roll with Scallop ($3.75) roam the busy restaurant while servers deliver hot plates of noodle and chicken dishes to eager diners. But owner Lisa Lum remains unfazed by the crowd.

  • Dim Sum ($2.50 each)
  • Nice Day's Hua Tan, Helen Liang, Lisa Lum, Sang Chang, Shirley Cheng and Lani Lau
  • Roast Pork, Char Siu and Roast Duck ($9.95 each)
  • Live Shrimp ($28 per pound)
  • Stuffed Eggplant with Fishcake ($2.50)
  • Whole Lobster Special ($9.99)
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“This is slow today,” says Lum, who co-owns the restaurant with Yung Sang Chan. “It’s usually busier.”

It’s no wonder Nice Day is a hopping lunch spot. With its extensive menu, the Liliha eatery is sure to have all your Chinese cuisine favorites.

In addition to its dim sum treats, Nice Day offers a wide variety of noodle, rice, vegetable and meat dishes. The staff says that popular dishes include the Roast Duck ($10.95 for half), Minute Chicken Chow Mein ($7.50), Char Siu ($8.95) and House Special Chicken ($15 for half).

Living up to its name, the restaurant also carries a variety of seafood dishes, such as Shrimp with Walnuts ($11.95), Live Shrimp ($28 per pound) , Lobster with Ginger and Onion (seasonal), and Golden Crab (seasonal). Plus, right now, take advantage of the Lobster Special, which offers a whole lobster for just $9.99. This unbelievably good deal also is available at Nice Day’s sister restaurant, Happy Day Chinese Restaurant in Kaimuki.

Besides the great food options, another thing that keeps reeling in customers is the friendly, always-smiling staff. And Lum and Chan bring the know-how of longtime restaurateurs. The pair worked at the popular Sea Fortune for more than 20 years before starting Nice Day and Happy Day.

“We just wanted to continue in the restaurant (business),” Lum says.

And it’s clear that Nice Day’s diners are glad they did.

Nice Day has only been open a few years, but the business partners have already attracted a loyal following. A number of regulars greet Lum as she walks through the restaurant, a kind of familiarity that adds to the casual, home-like atmosphere.

This kind of inviting setting is the perfect place to host a special event, and Nice Day provides customers with all the right tools for any occasion. Private parties can rent out the main dining room, which holds up to 200 guests. Plus, the establishment offers a variety of set menus to accommodate your party, like the Lunch Menu for 10, which includes Roast Duck, Shrimp with Walnuts, Jai, Crispy Chicken, Capital Pork Chops, Fish Fillet with Chou Sum, Roast Pork Belly and Steamed Rice for $169. For smaller celebrations or business meetings, there also is a private room that holds up to 20 people.

On the Side

Dim sum is a gift from the food gods. With delicately wrapped dumplings filled with a variety of meats, seafood and vegetables, dim sum is the perfect meal. Many restaurants, though, only offer dim sum during lunch hours, making it an unattainable option for some. Luckily, Nice Day offers these treats for early-morning takeout — the answer to a lunchtime dilemma for dim sum devotees.

Starting at 8 a.m., customers can pick up dim sum takeout dishes from the restaurant and save the tasty treats for lunch or a mid-morning snack. Nice Day’s entire dim sum menu — which includes more than 30 items — is available for morning pick up. These include dim sum classics such as Spinach Gau with Shrimp ($2.50), Shrimp Siu Mai ($2.50), Char Siu Manapua ($1) and Har Gau ($2.50).

Co-owner Lisa Lum says that popular dim sum dishes also include Spinach Gau with Shrimp ($2.50), Pork Hash ($2.50) and Half Moon Dumplings ($2.50), which are filled with pork. Other must-eats are the Stuffed Eggplant with Fishcake ($2.50) and the Chicken Wings ($3.25), both of which are bathed in a generous topping of garlic.

Early birds also can take advantage of the 10 percent discount that Nice Day offers for morning dim sum dishes.

Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant

  • Where
    • 1425 Liliha Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96817
  • Call
    • (808) 524-1628
  • Hours
    • Open daily
    • 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.