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Royal Chinese Fare in Full Bloom

By Yu Shing Ting Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
March 17, 2013

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Minced Pork served in Lettuce Wrap ($15.95)

Minced Pork served in Lettuce Wrap ($15.95)

From when I was a little girl to now, Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant in Ala Moana Hotel continues to be one of my favorite Chinese restaurants.

Known for its traditional Cantonese-, Hong Kong-style cooking, Royal Garden also has a reputation for serving food that is fresh, delicious, creative and beautifully presented. The restaurant itself is clean and spacious, and during lunch you can order dim sum from the many authentic dim sum carts rolling through.

The extensive menu offers a great selection of soup, seafood, duck, chicken, beef, pork, casserole courses, fresh vegetables, sizzling platters, rice, noodles and more. My personal favorite is Pea-par Tofu with Vegetable ($17.95), which is a casserole-like dish with soft deep-fried tofu mixed with a shrimp paste and served over a bed of spinach. Also popular, and a specialty of the house, is Minced Pork served in Lettuce Wrap ($15.95) with an original sauce. There also is a new dish available as a special called Gum Yun Dai Ji ($20.95), which translates to “gold and silver scallop.” This dish features both deep-fried, crispy jumbo scallops with sesame seeds and stir-fried scallops cooked with onion, ginger, carrots, straw mushrooms and broccoli.

Also, because of popular demand, owner Calvin Wong has decided to extend its March special through the end of April — enjoy 50 percent off Baked Rock Salt Ranch Chicken (regularly priced at $45) or Stuffed Top Shell with Seafood (regularly priced at $6.95). Both items must be ordered at least one day in advance, and you are restricted to one discounted item per party.

Wong, who was born and raised in Hong Kong and came to Hawaii in 1971 as a student, opened Royal Garden 28 years ago along with his brothers and chefs Johnny Wong and King Man Wong. “I enjoy eating, and my brother enjoys cooking and is a good cook,” he says, noting that chef Johnny learned his culinary skills from one of Hong Kong’s most decorated chefs Wing Hui, who now works at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “My brother only chooses good ingredients. He’s very strict about quality.”

That same top quality is found not only in the food, but also in the service and overall dining experience.

Open for lunch and dinner, Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant also offers special banquet menus, and has two private rooms — one that can seat 10 to 50 people and the other for up to 20 people.

Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant

Ala Moana Hotel
410 Atkinson Drive, third floor
942-7788
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
Dinner: 5:30-9:30 p.m. daily