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Ringing in Chinese New Year

By Alana Folen Photos By Leah Friel
January 20, 2013

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Shanghai Juicy Pork Buns (eight pieces for $6.95)

Shanghai Juicy Pork Buns (eight pieces for $6.95)

February is creeping up on us and that means its time to welcome in the new year once again — Chinese New Year, that is. Chinese New Year is Feb. 10, and Hee Hing Restaurant in Kapahulu already is raising the bar as far as its menu is concerned.

According to restaurant owner James Lee, patrons can look forward to a slew of contemporary additions (which are now available) to the eatery’s already diverse menu.

“We have incorporated Taiwanese and Shanghainese dishes that we’re very excited about. A few of these dishes took much experimentation until we perfected it,” says Lee.

Shanghai Juicy Pork Buns (eight pieces for $6.95) is one of those must-try items that Lee speaks of. Traditionally from Shanghai and Wuxi, Shanghai Juicy Pork Buns feature minced pork wrapped with a thin, smooth flour wrapper, which is pinched at the top prior to steaming.

“The outer skin of the bun has a circular cascade of ripples around the crown,” Lee explains. “After steaming, the bun becomes filled with soup, which is released from the pork filling.”

Presented in a basket, these buns are served with vinegar and ginger for dipping.

Red Braised Beef Noodle ($8.95)

Red Braised Beef Noodle ($8.95)

Red Braised Beef Noodle ($8.95) is a Taiwanese-inspired entree that also is new to the menu, A delicious noodle soup, this entree consists of red braised beef, bok choy and thin noodles swimming in a rich beef broth topped with Chinese sauerkraut and green onions. Delicious in every sense of the word, Lee says the beef shank and beef brisket are braised in their own stock and simmered for six hours until tender.

“These dishes are perfect for Chinese New Year, and Hee Hing will be celebrating from Feb. 7 to 14,” he states.

Diners can ring in the new year with the restaurant’s Special Year of the Snake Dinner Menu ($299, feeds 10 people), which presents a bounty of dishes including Salt Baked Roast Chicken, Roast Pork Belly with Steamed Buns, New Year’s “Bounty of the Sea” Soup, Traditional Stuffed Duck, Maine Lobster, Jai and more. Add gau into the mix for $12 more.

Come Feb. 9 and 10 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Hee Hing will showcase its Chinese New Year’s Dinner Buffet ($28.95 for adults, $27.95 for seniors and $14.95 for keiki ages 4-12), complete with an international salad station, appetizer station, Black Pepper Prime Rib, Roast Pork, crab legs and more. A lion dance is set to take place at 6:30 p.m. on both days.

In addition, Chinese New Year’s Dim Sum Brunch Buffet ($23.95 for adults, $22.95 for seniors and $11.95 for keiki ages 4-12) will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 10, with a lion dance at noon. The brunch offers Hee Hing classics such as dim sum, char siu, steamed fish, jai, pepper salt shrimp and desserts.

Hee Hing Restaurant

449 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu
Daily, 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.