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Inside Feature

Holiday Buffet Beckons at Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Leah Friel
December 16, 2012

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Just in time for the holidays, Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine is serving up a special buffet to help diners celebrate with family and friends. The restaurant will be adding special items to its already supple buffet such as roast turkey, prepared the same way as traditional Chinese roast duck, roasted ham, as well as special beef and pork dishes to complement existing buffet favorites such as snow crab legs, salt and pepper shrimp, steamed fish fillet with a ginger onion soy sauce and mussels in a black bean and basil sauce. And, as general manager James Ching explains, the special holiday buffet also will include Ho Ho’s “famous” pumpkin custard pie, which has become a seasonal favorite of those visiting the Kapolei eatery this time of year.

The special holiday buffet will be available Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for $12.95 at lunch and $19.95 for dinner (children’s prices are discounted according to height, and those under the age of 3 eat for free).

“The roast turkey is cooked in the oven with fire, just like roast duck hanging in the windows of Chinatown,” says Ching when describing the centerpiece of the much-anticipated holiday buffet. “It’s tasty and juicy, and the skin is nice and crispy. We still have salt and pepper shrimp available on the buffet, too, as well as honey lemon mayo shrimp.”

At the Kapolei eatery, authentic Chinese food is fused with local-style preparation techniques, and customers can choose from numerous selections served up on the all-you-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.

“It’s been the most popular since we opened in 2004,” says owner Crystal 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!”

The shrimp and snow crab legs headline Ho Ho’s traditional 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, walnut shrimp and steamed sea bass with ginger onion and soy sauce, and is priced at an economical $17.95 Monday through Thursday nights, and $19.95 Friday through Sunday evenings. Additionally, selected items are available on Ho Ho’s lunch buffet that is served from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, and is light on the wallet at just $9.95 Monday through Friday, and $11.95 on weekends.

“You get good food at a good price, I don’t think you can find another dinner buffet like this for under $20 like we offer,” says Ching, who notes that the recent economic downturn has been hard on the local community. Despite the increases in food cost because of a host of uncontrollable factors, Ho Ho’s prices have remained affordable, and 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. We also offer a lot of free parking and a nice view of Kapolei.”

Ho Ho’s offers a full a la carte menu, along with favorites from the buffet, as well as a host of other dishes, including everything from roasted duck ($9.95 half, $19.95 whole) to an assortment of noodle plates such as the mixed seafood chow min with vegetables ($8.95) and oyster sauce chicken chow mein ($7.50). Customers are encouraged 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 in waves — the perfect solution for that favorite cousin or uncle who operates on Hawaiian Time.

And, for those looking for a quick bite in the morning, Ho Ho’s opens at 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. 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.

Ho Ho Chinese Cuisine

590 Farrington Hwy., Kapolei
692.9880
Lunch buffet: Served daily, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner available: 5 to 9 p.m., Sunday – Thursday; 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Manapua served: Monday – Saturday starting at 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Sundays at the front counter