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Hee Hing Restaurant

By Dining Out Team Photos By Leah Friel
June 23, 2013

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Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant? Well, much credit goes to the many chefs, owners and managers who work diligently day in and day out to make sure Hawaii’s diners have a top-notch dining experience.

This week, Dining Out gets the inside scoops from Hee Hing Restaurant general manager David Koc, who gives us a little taste of Hee Hing and shares just what fuels his culinary drive.

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NAME David Koc
TITLE General Manager at Hee Hing Restaurant
TRAINING/EDUCATION Engineer by trade, working at Hee Hing since 1981.

Who or what inspires you as a chef/manager/owner? As the general manager, I am inspired by seeing our customers happy with the food, service and their entire dining experience. Our goal is to have satisfied, happy customers. Throughout our 50 years in business, we have served almost three generations of families who come to eat at our restaurant. Many of our customers are like members of our family.

What is your favorite dish on the menu? Why? I love Peipa Tofu, a dish of golden, fried, minced shrimp and tofu mousse on a bed of fresh garlic spinach, topped with light brown gravy. It’s delicious, healthy and so good with hot rice. I also love our Baked Char Siu Manapua. I honestly believe that we serve the best manapua in the Islands. It is very light and not doughy. The ratio of char siu to bun is perfect, and you get char siu with every bite. We use real char siu, which we roast and chop ourselves. It’s indescribably delicious.

What is your favorite ingredient to work with? Why? I love working with garlic and ginger. They are incredibly aromatic and add bold flavor to all dishes.

Is there a dish that you create that’s not on your menu, but available upon request? Our chefs are very creative. Our Roasted Garlic Hum Ha Chicken Wings are a delicious off-the-menu item.

What are your culinary goals? What do you hope to improve on? Hee Hing’s main culinary goal is to serve the freshest dishes using the best ingredients available. We strive to be innovative and in tune with today’s food trends and tastes. It is important to us that we serve extremely memorable cuisine. We will be unveiling a new menu within the next month. We want to give our patrons more variety to their meals. Following the izakaya trend, we also will begin offering half-size portions with a lower price point so that people can try more dishes. We also are revamping our banquet menus to incorporate new dishes.