A Village Full of Amazing Pupus

Columns Pupu Picks

January 14, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Johnson Ma, manager at Seafood Village at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, points a quick finger when asked of his favorite appetizer at the Cantonese-style restaurant. Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Scallops ($12.95) is encased in a crispy wonton wrapper, topped with an aioli sauce and is as tasty as it sounds. Sweet, juicy and large enough for two quality bites, the dish is a nice combination of flavor and texture. Seriously, this stuff is good!

  • Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Scallops ($12.95)
  • Golden Crab Claws with Shrimp ($7)
  • Barbecue Pork Buns ($4.25)
  • Roasted Barbecue Pork ($8.50)
  • Pork Hash Shiu Mai ($5.25)
  • Spinach Dumpling ($5.25)
  • Steamed Oysters with Black Bean Sauce ($12.95)
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Another top-of-the-line pupu is Lettuce Wrap with Duck ($10.95). Made with fresh, roasted duck (a restaurant specialty), onions, carrots and few secret seasonings, the wrap has a mild spicy flavor that works perfectly with the fresh, crispy iceberg lettuce.

If pork is your pleasure — and when isn’t it? — Roasted Barbecue Pork ($8.50) is a must-try. The marbled pork is tender, slightly sweet, smoky and comes in a heaping helping that adds value to the mix. You don’t need an Anthony Bourdain pork fetish to enjoy the dish, just taste buds.

Still not full? Try Golden Crab Claws with Shrimp ($7). Made with full crab claws, the crispy, battered, yet light pupus are stuffed with shrimp and a few other things Ma refuses to mention. Secrets make for good cooking, and Ma and his talented and attentive staff aren’t about to let the crab out of the bag.

Shui mai can be found on nearly every local buffet line in the state and is a crowd favorite. However, the sad truth is that it’s rarely well-made. Too often used as a cheap menu item, the traditional stuffed dumpling is often disappointing. Not at Seafood Village. Pork Hash Shui Mai ($5.25) is fresh, well-seasoned and not the least bit greasy. The addition of shrimp adds to the flavor profile while not overpowering the traditional taste of the dish.

If you haven’t been to Seafood Village yet, lunchtime could be a good opportunity, especially if you like dim sum. And who doesn’t? The restaurant offers 36 types of the steamed dish, meaning there isn’t likely a flavor request it can’t meet. Don’t let parking worry you. There is plenty of validated parking across the street, and the hotel offers valet parking. If you go for dinner, reservations are recommended.

Seafood Village Chinese Cuisine

  • Where
    • Hyatt Regency
    • Waikiki Resort and Spa
    • 2424 Kalakaua Avenue #103
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 971-1818
  • Hours
    • Open daily
    • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch)
    • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Dinner)
  • Notes
    • $3 validated self-parking and $4 valet parking at the Hyatt.