Ringing in the New YearColumns Foodie Fare
February 10, 2013
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Snake, and to make sure you get the new year started off right, you’d better stop into Lung Fung Chinese Restaurant for a serving of its Jai ($10.95). Jai is a dish that traditionally is shared with family and friends on Chinese New Year, and Lung Fung’s tasty take on the dish features bean curd, tofu, mushrooms, cabbage and long rice.
And if you don’t get your fill of Jai this new year, stop by Lung Fung anytime the dish is a permanent fixture on the menu.
While Jai, with its many vegetables, is considered a good way to cleanse your body for the new year, Lung Fung also has some tasty meat dishes to treat yourself with after today. Chinese Sausage (Lap Cheong) with Shanghai Cabbage ($11.95), for example, is a popular dish.
Also try Young Ginger with Pineapple Beef ($11.95), which is a combination of crispy ginger and tender beef, all bathed in a sweet and sour honey sauce that has a hint of spice.
“This one is so tasty,” restaurant manager Eddie Ma says. “After you try it, you will want to eat more.”
If you haven’t visited Lung Fung in a while, there are some new items waiting for you. Ma says Lung Fung creates at least one or two new menu items every month. One recent creation is the Chef’s Chow Fun ($10.95) with thin rice noodles, tomato, spinach, asparagus and shrimp accented with garlic.
“These are all healthy, high-quality vegetables mixed together,” Ma says. “We like to offer dishes that are healthy.”
This concoction was inspired by an Italian pasta dish that Ma and his family enjoy. And the dish has passed the inspection of very important critics: Ma’s children.
“I made this and then I brought it home for my kids, and they really liked it,” he says. “They ate it all!”
In addition to healthy dishes such as this, Lung Fung also strives to bring a healthy quality to its other menu items. Ma says that everything is cooked fresh, and Lung Fung never adds MSG.
“We are trying to provide a better quality food to the customers,” Ma says.
On the Side
“I really love to eat,” says Lung Fung manager Eddie Ma, “and I eat all kinds of food.”
A true foodie, Ma is the genius behind many of Lung Fung’s dishes. The restaurant frequently introduces new items to its menu, and Ma works closely with the restaurant’s chefs to bring his ideas to life. In creating new items, he incorporates his own preferences, as well as customer suggestions.
“The people (in Hawaii) have so many food choices,” he says, “and there are all kinds of people in Hawaii. So you have to learn something from the people here. Everybody’s tastes are different.”
The menu, as a result, is large and varied. “Every day I learn something new from the customers,” Ma says.
Ma, who is originally from China, has been managing the restaurant for more than a decade.
“So far, so good,” he says with a smile.
Lung Fung Chinese Restaurant
Niu Valley Center
5724 Kalanianaole Hwy., Honolulu
11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily