It Takes a Village to Feed a FamilyCover Story Features
May 12, 2013
Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Leah Friel
WHEN NOTEWORTHY GUESTS, SUCH AS PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA, AS WELL AS THE LATE KING OF POP, MICHAEL JACKSON, HAVE DINED AT SEAFOOD VILLAGE CHINESE CUISINE — AND ARE FANS OF THIS LEGENDARY RESTAURANT — YOU KNOW IT HAS TO BE GOOD. PHOTOS NEAR THE ENTRANCE OF THE RESTAURANT COMMEMORATE THESE SPECIAL MOMENTS.
Located on the lower level of Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa, Seafood Village is in a league of its own when it comes to Chinese fare, and has been enticing diners with its traditional Hong Kong-style cuisine for the past 20 years.
“We have a very broad customer base,” says manager Johnson Ma. “Our patrons come from as far as Australia, China, Japan, etc., and then we also have locals who don’t mind coming to Waikiki.”
And for Hawaii residents, the restaurant’s kamaaina dinner — a local party prix-fixe menu — is good reason to pay a visit to the nostalgic landmark of diversity that is Waikiki.
Priced at $24.95 per person (party of four or more required), this eight-course feast begins with a refreshing Duck Salad with Oriental Dressing, featuring a bed of salad adorned with meaty morsels of duck, won ton strips and bits of sweet tomato splashed with a sweet and savory Oriental dressing.
The dining experience then builds up with a decadent appetizer comprised of Shrimp and Scallop Wrapped in Bacon, followed by Live Dungeness Crab — Country Style, that’s doused in a sauce infused with pork, black bean sauce, green peppers, round onion and egg.
“One of the top local sellers is Honey Glazed Walnut Shrimp, along with Roasted Peking Duck served with pancakes or buns,” Ma continues, raving about these deserving entrees that steal the show.
“Chef So has really perfected these dishes.”
Originally from Hong Kong, Seafood Village’s executive chef So Shu Chen relocated to the Islands in 1990, and has headed the kitchen at the restaurant for the last four years.
“I was trained in Hong Kong in 1978 and learned everything from a famous chef there, who was ranked among the top 10 chefs in Hong Kong at the time,” Chen explains. “He was my mentor.”
To add to this elaborate meal that’s available upon request for dinner and all day today (Mother’s Day) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 10 p.m., Chef So also cooks up an assortment of sauteed seasonal vegetables and Chef So’s mouthwatering House Fried Rice, a signature family favorite mixed with pieces of pork, shrimp, egg, green onions and a slew of special seasonings, which remain under wraps.
Finally, take your time, cleanse your palate and tempt your sweet tooth with melt-in-your-mouth mango pudding that results in the sweetest of endings.
So, just how did these up-scale “comfort food” creations make their way onto this A-list menu when there’s an abundance of appetizers, salads, soups, seafood, stir-fry selections and sizzling platters to select from? Two words: universal appeal. These favorites have been an integral part of the local Chinese dining experience for generations.
In order to reserve your spot at the table, be sure to secure your reservation in advance. Seafood Village — an award-winning restaurant — offers a total of three banquet rooms, each capable of seating up to 75 people, and caters to every occasion. Currently, the restaurant is preparing to host an abundance of graduation parties.
“About four years ago, we received recognition for dining excellence in Chinese cuisine by Chinese Restaurant News. We ranked top six out of 100 restaurants. We’re very proud,” Ma says.
In fact, until this day, Chef So proudly wears his medallions acknowledging this honor.
“Everyone should give us a try,” Ma says.
After all, Chinese food does bring people together and lends itself to a party-like atmosphere with its family-style dining concept.
HYATT REGENCY WAIKIKI RESORT AND SPA
2424 KALAKAUA AVE. #103, HONOLULU
OPEN DAILY, 11 A.M. –2 P.M. (LUNCH) 5–10 P.M. (DINNER)
$3 VALIDATED SELF-PARKING AND $4 VALET PARKING AT THE HYATT.