A Place That Caters to Your Cravings, AnytimeColumns Foodie Fare
November 25, 2012
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
With its extensive, varied menu, Anytime Cafe really is a reliable place to dine anytime, no matter what you may be craving. With a range of influences spanning Italy and Hong Kong, the restaurant offers just the right dish for anybody, anytime.
“Some customers come once or twice a week. And some come almost every day,” says Cindy Wong, who co-owns the restaurant with husband Ken.
“We have Italian food like risotto, spaghetti and pizza, as well as local favorites like the oxtail soup and the loco moco,” she says.
One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes is Shrimp Wonton Noodle in Broth ($7.95), made with Hong Kong-style noodles and large shrimp wrapped in a thin wonton shell and all swimming in a special, house-made broth.
“Many customers say that our wonton noodles are the best they’ve had,” Wong adds.
Another customer favorite is Baked Pork Chop with Fried Rice ($12.95), which is served with garlic bread and a soup or salad.
In addition to its regular menu items, Anytime Cafe also carries a new list of specials every few months. Currently, specials being offered include Trio Shrimp Spaghetti ($15.95), which features tiger shrimp, bay shrimp and a large, head-on shrimp stuffed with crab meat, all bathed in a tasty, aromatic white truffle sauce imported from Italy.
“People love this dish,” Wong says. “A lot of times we have whole tables order this one dish.”
Another special is Shrimp Spaghetti with Thai Curry Sauce ($12.95), an interesting combination of Thai-style curry with mushrooms, bell pepper, onion and sweet basil served over pasta. It doesn’t seem like it should work, but it does.
“This recipe comes from my girlfriend who is from Thailand, and she taught me how to make it,” Wong explains. “It’s really good, and very flavorful. Once you try it, you will love it.”
And Osso Bucco ($15.95) is another special item not to be missed. The dish features a braised veal shank bathed in a red wine and tomato sauce and served over pasta.
Wong says that customers should also stay tuned for a forthcoming list of Christmas and New Years specials.
To gather ideas for menu additions, the Wongs occasionally venture to Hong Kong for some culinary inspiration.
“I went back to Hong Kong in March and came back with more ideas and ingredients,” Wong says.
Within the next few months, Anytime Cafe also is looking to start a promotion called Green Monday — which will provide customers with a discount on vegetarian dishes on Monday — a concept that is popular in Hong Kong.
On the Side
Anytime Cafe co-owners Cindy and Ken Wong came up with the idea for their eclectic eatery from their own dining experiences.
“The idea is we want this place to be good for families,’ Cindy says. “For example, my son, every time we eat out, he wants to get pizza, but sometimes we are tired of that. But at this kind of cafe, the parents can get what they want to eat and the kids can eat what they want.”
Anytime Cafe provides the solution to that type of disagreement by offering such a wide, varied menu, there is sure to be something for everyone in your group.
“This kind of cafe is very popular in Hong Kong,” Cindy explains. “Everywhere you go, in every shopping center, you can find this type of place with various types of food.”
Specializing in Italian, Hong Kong-style and local dishes, Anytime Cafe makes sure that it offers the best of all of its various types of foods. From importing ingredients like risotto and truffle sauce from Italy to travelling to Hong Kong for ideas, the Wongs go to great lengths to maintain their high-quality cuisine.
“We want to have the same quality as a fine dining restaurant with lower prices,” Cindy says.
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd.
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight
Saturdays, 8 a.m.-midnight
Sundays, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.