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Chomp Away on Pork Chop

Columns Ono, You Know

March 9, 2014

Story By: Alana Folen |

For the avid meat eater, there’s nothing better than ribs, sausage, shoulder or chops grilling up a storm. If you haven’t guessed it, the common denominator here is pork. Oftentimes, pork is overshadowed by beef and chicken, but not this time. In fact, let’s put those on the back burner for now, because I’m in the mood for pork chops.

I’ll admit that I’m no pro in the kitchen when it comes to perfecting the pork chop. There are so many components involved in achieving a luscious chop. For one: Flavor is a big deal. Yet, you must be able to retain moisture in the lean meat. Second: Choosing the proper chop is crucial (when breading and sauteing, thin chops are preferred; bone-in pork chops boast maximum flavor). Lastly: Let’s talk sauce — the kind that’s finger-lickin’ good. I’ve been told that it’s best to simmer the sauce over low heat to produce a mouthwatering taste.

I realize all of that may be a lot to take in, especially for an amateur chef like me. So instead, I leave it to the culinary geniuses at the following Ono, You Know hot spots to whip up chops of epic proportions.

These meaty morsels of goodness will definitely give you something to talk about. What are you waiting for? Pork “chomp” away!

Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant

Ala Moana Center is a mecca for ethnic cuisine, and Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant in Hookipa Terrace transports its guests across the globe with award-winning Hong Kong-style fare and vast dim sum options. I’m always impressed by the creativity and thought that goes in to each and every dish, and I can always count on being surprised with something new.

Salt and pepper pork chops are a staple at most Chinese restaurants in the Islands, but as a trend-setter, Jade Dynasty steps it up with Lemongrass Pork Chops ($12.95 entree, $9.95 appetizer, $7.95 dim sum).

“This is one of our most popular dishes,” says assistant manager Adam Fan of the bone-in pork chop marinated in a flavorful concoction of oyster sauce, sugar, flour and lemongrass, then lightly fried and chopped into smaller pieces.

Lemongrass Pork Chops evoke an essence of sweet and savory that is almost too good to be true — with each bite, the meat practically falls off the bone and the taste defines perfection.

“This particular dish is something unique that we’re happy to offer our patrons,” says Fan. “People can request it when compiling banquet menus, too.”

Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
Ala Moana Center, Hookipa Terrace
947-8818

Anytime Cafe

Chopsticks or fork? Take your pick. Here at Anytime Cafe in Market City Shopping Center, a fusion of East meets West awaits. Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Ken and Cindy Wong, this highly coveted restaurant popped up on Oahu’s dining scene four years ago, and attracts customers with its Eurasian cuisine that’s modeled after what you would find in a Hong Kong-style cafe.

And because my taste buds are truly indecisive, Anytime Cafe is my restaurant of choice, as it doesn’t discriminate when it comes to the most random of cravings. Pork Chop Risotto ($13.95) is an entree that has gained a loyal fan base since its menu debut almost two years ago. The risotto is imported from Italy and soaks up all the flavors of the pork chops like a sponge. Of course, boneless pork chops are the main attraction, as they are marinated overnight with a dash of salt, bean curd sauce, cornstarch, five spice powder, minced garlic and a hint of ginger.

And there’s more! Baked Pork Chop with Fried Rice ($13.95) entices diners with three tender pork chops topped with melted mozzarella cheese, served on a bed of mouthwatering fried rice, and doused with seasoned tomato sauce and sauteed onions for garnish. The entree also comes with garlic bread and choice of soup or salad.

You’ll always make the right choice at Anytime Cafe.

Anytime Cafe
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd. #218
735-3888

Fairwood Drive Inn & Pho 27

The best of both worlds is at Fairwood Drive Inn & Pho 27, where upon entering the Kaimuki eatery patrons are presented with Chinese and local-style favorites featured in a fast-food, takeout style concept (Fairwood). Then, diners may immerse themselves in authentic Vietnamese fare in the family-friendly dining room (Pho 27) situated in the back of the restaurant. And rumor has it that Fairwood Drive Inn & Pho 27 serves up onolicious pork chop dishes, including Grilled Pork Chop and Deep-Fried Pork Chop. Grilled Pork Chop costs $11.95 and takes hold of appetites with two meaty morsels of bone-in pork chop marinated in a savory blend of shoyu, salt and pepper, and accompanied with a side salad and beef soup.

As for Fairwood’s Deep-Fried Pork Chop ($8.50), well, that gets me every time. The difference between this and Grilled Pork Chop is that Deep-Fried Pork Chop is just that — deep fried and coated in a savory batter of egg, chicken mix, flour, salt and pepper. The thought of the meat’s crispy, golden exterior, and tender and juicy interior already has my stomach grumbling. And it’s not deemed a “local plate lunch” without two scoops rice and a heaping scoop of macaroni salad.

Fairwood Drive Inn & Pho 27
Kaimuki Shopping Center
3221 Waialae Ave.
739-6688 (Fairwood)
738-0027 (Pho 27)