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Chinese Cuisine That’s as Good as Gold

By Jaimie Kim Photos By Leah Friel
January 5, 2014

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Located in the heart of Chinatown, it’s difficult to miss Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant — red pillars line its entrance, embla-zoned with golden dragons dancing toward the sky. It’s a grand entrance paired perfectly with its regal name.

And once inside, you also will discover that Golden Palace’s dishes have just as much to offer.

For hesitant diners nervous of breaking newfound New Year’s resolutions, manager Gary Lam has been making an effort to increase the restaurant’s availability of healthy and vegetarian dishes.

“Everyone is so health-conscious these days,” he says.

In celebration of the new year, try the restaurant’s Jai ($6.95). Though this traditional New Year’s dish typically is eaten on the first day of the year, there’s no one stopping you from eating it now. Not to mention, it contains only vegetables such as black fungus, mushrooms, green peas, dates, carrots, tofu and rice noodle. Each ingredient represents a different auspicious Chinese character, meant to bring good luck.

Singapore Rice Noodles ($5.75) feature fine rice noodles, which are stir-fried with bell peppers, onions, carrots, shrimp and shredded char siu. A curry powder-like seasoning is added for flavor.

“I know some people really like a stronger spicy curry, so they can let us know if they want it hotter,” says Lam.

Fried Stuffed Tofu with Shrimp Paste ($7.50) is carefully prepared with tofu that is stuffed with handmade shrimp paste. It is then lightly battered and fried, and is accompanied by a soy-based dipping sauce made specially by the chef.

And last, but certainly not least, (Golden Palace’s menu boasts more than 100 items to choose from), the restaurant offers a Salt and Pepper Sea Bass Filet ($8.95) and Steamed Sea Bass with Ginger and Onion ($9.95). Salt and Pepper Sea Bass is lightly battered and fried, before the chef adds seasoning and stir fries it with green onions and chili peppers.

Steamed Sea Bass spotlights subdued and even slightly sweet flavors. After it is steamed, it is placed on a bed of shredded green onions and is topped with ginger and a soy-based sauce.

Just in time for the New Year, Golden Palace will be participating in Night in Chinatown Jan. 24 during which lions will enter the restaurant to bless it and its customers. In preparation for the popularity of the event, Golden Palace will open its banquet room upstairs, and also is accepting reservations.

Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant

111 N. King St., Honolulu
521-8268
7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Dim sum service starts at 7 a.m. daily