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Inside Feature

Ho Ho’s Chinese Cuisine: Full of Happening Flavors

Story By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Leah Friel
February 5 - 11, 2012

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In his 26 years working in the Hawaii restaurant industry, Armando Bauzon has done it all. From fast food to fine dining, the 51-year-old has accumulated a wealth of experience that he brings to the table as manager of Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine, a buffet-style eatery in Kapolei. Bauzon’s presence can be felt immediately as one enters the dining room, as he and his friendly staff greet and assist diners. Customer service is key, and is one of the major factors behind the restaurant’s strong following of loyal customers.

  • Salt and Pepper Shrimp
  • Honey Walnut Shrimp
  • Manager Armando Bauzon with shrimp and snow crab.
  • Beef with Broccoli ($27.95, catering)
  • Gon Lo Mein ($18.95 small, catering)
  • Snow Crab
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In addition to its popular buffet, Ho Ho also offers a vast Party Tray menu for those planning a special event or get together and can accommodate parties of up to 200 in the dining room. Bauzon encourages customers to call ahead for large party reservations as special group discounts are available for the buffet and individual dishes. Ho Ho’s buffet makes it easy for groups, as the food stays hot and fresh as diners arrive.

“We can do anything,” says Bauzon when describing the options afforded customers when planning a private party or special event. “Customers can call and ask for me, and I can help them through the process. We’re very flexible, and can accommodate a wide variety of budgets and customer needs.”

When catering a party, customers can choose from Ho Ho’s vast selection of party trays that serve anywhere from eight to 10 people with a small tray up to 50-75 via the jumbo size dish. Gon Lo Mein ($18.95 for a small tray) is a very popular noodle dish while Beef with Broccoli ($27.95 for a small tray) has customers clamoring for more. Ho Ho also is offering free delivery for catering orders of $125 or more to those residing in Kapolei, Ewa and Waipahu (those in other areas will be charged a nominal delivery fee).

At Ho Ho’s Chinese Cuisine in Kapolei, authentic Chinese food is merged with local-style preparation, and customers can choose from numerous selections served up on the allyou-can-eat buffet, or order specific favorites a la carte. The eatery, which gets its name from the Cantonese phrase for “very good” or “nice,” is well known for its Salt and Pepper Shrimp. According to owner Crystal Chan, the recipe consists of a signature blend of spices and seasonings that are infused with the succulent seafood as it is deep-fried to crispy perfection.

“It’s been the most popular since we opened in 2004,” says Chan of the salt-and-pepper style that also incorporates garlic and other flavorful accents surrounding the deep-fried delicacies. “The customers like it very much. They don’t want us to change!”

Shrimp and snow crab headline Ho Ho’s dinner buffet, which gets under way nightly at 5 p.m. The spread features a wide range of selections including the extremely popular Fried Chicken Wings, Honey Walnut Shrimp and Stir Fry Steak, and is priced at an economical $15.95 Monday through Thursday nights, and $17.95 Friday through Sunday evenings. Additionally, selected items are available on Ho Ho’s lunch buffet served from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

daily. The buffet is heavy on taste and light on the wallet at just $9.50 Monday through Friday, and $10.95 on weekends.

“The price is a very good deal,” says Chan, who notes that the recent economic downturn has been hard on the local community. Despite the increases in food cost due to a host of uncontrollable factors, Ho Ho’s prices have remained constant, and Chan’s loyal customers keep coming back for more. “We combine local touches with traditional Hong Kong-style cooking to keep a unique touch on our recipes.”

When asked about the popularity of the all-you-can-eat spread, Bauzon adds: “We want customers to come and attack the buffet!”

Ho Ho’s also offers a full a la carte menu, with favorites from the buffet as well as a host of other dishes including everything from Roasted Duck ($9.95 for half, $19.95 whole) to an assortment of noodle plates such as Mixed Seafood Chow Min with Vegetables ($8.95) and Oyster Sauce Chicken Chow Mein ($7.50).

And, for those looking for a quick bite in the morning, Ho Ho’s opens at 6 Monday through Saturday, and 8 Sundays, and offers an assortment of freshly-made Manapua. The eatery serves up both Baked ($1.35) and Steamed ($1.25) Manapua, and also offers local favorites including shrimp dumplings, pork hash and half moons. Call 692-9880 to order custom manapua packages, or to inquire about reservations for upcoming special events.

Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine

  • Where
    • 590 Farrington Highway
    • Kapolei, HI 96707
  • Call
    • (808) 692-9880
  • Hours
    • Lunch buffet daily
    • 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
    • Dinner
    • 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Sunday – Thursday
    • 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Friday – Saturday
    • Manapua served Monday – Saturday starting at 6 a.m., and 8 a.m. on Sundays, at the front counter.