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Big Tastes At Anytime
Pupu Picks

Big Tastes At Anytime

Story By Steve Murray Photos By Nathalie Walker
November 20 - 26, 2011

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When it comes to pupus, Anytime Cafe might just be Anything Cafe, as in, anything you order is going to be good. The Market City Shopping Center eatery offers 13 items on its appetizer menu that share one common ingredient; flavor. Seriously, this stuff is good.

  • Fried Dumplings ($5.50)
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The Fried Dumplings ($5.50) are filled with shrimp, pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and fungus, and served with a House Mayo Sauce that looks heavy but is lightly flavored and does nothing to hide the flavor of the ingredients. While the filling is tasty, the star of the dish is the very crispy wonton wrapper. The wrap offers a perfect textural change from the filling and serves as a ladle for the sauce.

If your idea of the perfect pupu is something that matches your favorite brew, the Thai Style Pork Cheek ($6.95) is a logical choice.

After the pork is marinated, fried and finished in the oven, it is seasoned with honey and served with a spicy dipping sauce. By itself the pork is sweet, savory and just a bit smoky, but with the sauce — which isn’t as spicy as the menu suggests — the dish takes on an entirely different taste as the fresh garlic, lemon grass and chili sauce add yet another element to the flavor profile. It’s a definite winner.

If you’re looking for some kick, and I mean “there-ain’t-enough-water-to-cool-it-down” type of kick, order the Baked Garlic Chili Wings ($5.50) and tell them to add the sliced chilies. It’ll make you sweat, cry and wish you had ordered a second helping. Whether spicy or mild, the three-step cooking process ensures the chicken is moist and not the least bit greasy.

Two more choices that get high marks are the Fried Calamari ($4.95) and the Steamed Clams in a White Wine Sauce ($7.95). Owner Cindy Chong-Wong says a plate of calamari goes out with nearly every order, and it’s easy to see why. The panko-crusted squid is lightly fried and very tender with a cocktail sauce that has all the taste you’re looking for, without hiding any of the calamari’s flavor. As for the Steamed Clams, well, just order it with some crunchy garlic bread and enjoy. The clams are fresh and the wine sauce is perfect for dipping. No need to say more.

Anytime Cafe

  • Where
    • Market City Shopping Center
    • 2919 Kapiolani Boulevard #218
    • Honolulu, HI 96826
  • Call
    • (808) 735-3888
  • Hours
    • Monday – Friday
    • 10 a.m. – midnight
    • Saturdays
    • 8 a.m. – midnight
    • Sundays
    • 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.