Big Taste Lives at Little Village
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As proof of the saying that good things come in small packages, some of Hawaii’s award-winning Chinese cuisine can be found tucked away in downtown Honolulu at Little Village Noodle House.
From its home in the heart of Chinatown, Little Village has been honored with a multitude of awards recognizing its stellar Chinese cuisine. The restaurant has garnered numerous Hale Aina Gold Awards as Hawaii’s Best Chinese Restaurant, and also was rated by world-renowned restaurant guide Zagat Survey — which ranks a wide variety of dining destinations based on food, decor, service and cost — for the third time.
“We want customers to rediscover the restaurant because we offer a lot of value, quality ingredients, great service, all within a casual, friendly atmosphere,” says vice president David Chang. “We cook everything to order, so every item is fresh. We also get our fresh vegetables daily from the markets here in Chinatown.”
To begin one’s Little Village experience, Chang recommends Pot Stickers ($4.95 for four pieces, $7.75 for eight pieces), which are available with chicken, pork or tofu fillings and are pan-fried or steamed to perfection. The tasty appetizer is a signature dish created by the restaurant’s founder and executive chef Kenneth Chan, who has blended the major styles of Chinese cooking — Northern, Hong Kong and Szechuan — for more than 30 years at an array of popular local eateries.
“They have more than 33 years of history with running restaurants in Hawaii,” says Chang of Kenneth and Jennifer Chan. “They bring a lot to this restaurant, and when they first started, this pot sticker was one of the top sellers. To this day, it’s still amazing.”
Chan uses his secret sweet and sour sauce in creating Orange Chicken ($9.95), a popular dish that includes real orange juice — not the artificial substitutes that some competitors use.
Honey Walnut Shrimp ($16.50) serves as one of the restaurant’s iconic favorites. “We have so many customers say that this is a ‘must-have dish’ when you come to eat at Little Village,” Chang says. The dish features large, juicy shrimp tossed in a garlic and green onion cream sauce that brings out the sweetness of the honey-glazed walnuts.
Chang also recommends Steamed Basa Fillet ($14.50) as another popular seafood selection. The flaky white fish is infused with a ginger onion soy sauce, and topped with fresh pieces of ginger and onion that soak up all the flavors while adding to the dish’s sweet aroma.
“We make the soy sauce fresh in house every day,” Chang explains. “It’s very fresh, and the taste is out of this world. Some of the other ingredients in the sauce, I can’t tell you because it’s a secret, but there are some spices as well.”
Little Village also offers a wide selection of vegetarian options, and can accommodate requests to replace meat with tofu or extra vegetables for most of the additional menu offerings. Chang encourages diners to keep an eye out for new menu specials just in time for the holiday season, and a loyalty card program that will be introduced very soon as a way to reward his customers.
“Kenneth is working on creating some specials in time for the New Year and Chinese New Year celebrations,” Chang says. “I’ll also be offering the loyalty cards during this period so we can cater to the returning customers.”
Little Village gives diners a big reason to make the trip into downtown Honolulu, as lunch and dinner are served daily, and the restaurant’s friendly staff is ready to make the experience a memorable one.
Little Village Noodle House
1113 Smith St., Honolulu
Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-midnight