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Inside Feature

A Melting Pot of Pacific Rim Cuisine

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Nathalie Walker
March 30, 2014

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As Hawaii’s melting pot of cultures embodies various concepts and tastes from around the Pacific Rim, Asian Mix incorporates a multitude of flavors and cooking techniques as customers are treated to a vast array of cuisine infused with local essence.

Situated conveniently at the corner of Beretania and Piikoi streets on the ground level of the Safeway building, Asian Mix serves up quality cuisine at affordable prices without the long wait times usually associated with typical sit-down restaurants. The eatery opened its doors nearly two years ago under the ownership of Daniel Leung and his skilled staff — the same culinary wizards who operated Panda Cuisine near Ala Moana for 20 years.

While the majority of Asian Mix patrons order food to go, the restaurant offers plenty of seats and tables outside in a welcoming breezeway for customers to enjoy a delicious meal before heading home or to work.

“The idea is that people can come — there is plenty of free parking — and pick something up before they get on the freeway to go home, or head back through town,” says Leung. “We believe that we’re the most reasonable place in town. You won’t be disappointed.”

Upon entering Asian Mix, customers immediately notice the large, eye-catching menu complete with photos that illustrate the diverse dining options.

Diners may choose from a host of different entrees stemming from various locales in Asia, including Kung Pao Chicken ($8.95). The spicy poultry dish can be crafted with a customer’s desired level of heat, and represents Northern Chinese cooking, which local customers have grown fond of. Southern Chinese, or Hong Kong-style, cuisine is also represented with Pork Chop with Salt & Pepper ($8.95) — a crispy yet tender and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed as an entree or as a pupu selection.

Asian Mix recently introduced a collection of refreshing teas and drinks that complement any meal, and come in handy on a hot, humid day. Based on Taiwanese recipes, many of the drinks include freshly brewed tea to guarantee peak taste and consistency. Milk Green Tea with Jasmine ($3.50) serves as the restaurant’s best-seller thus far, and can be enjoyed with Tapioca Pearls (additional 50 cents). Strawberry Black Tea ($3.50) features sweet strawberry notes, a dash of lime juice and flavor bursts from rainbow jellies.

“We use the freshest teas and ingredients. The tea must be kept at a certain temperature, or else the flavors will change, so we brew fresh tea every two-and-a-half hours,” Leung explains.

Customers may also choose to build their own Asian Mix Plate during the lunch rush from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a choice of side dishes and varieties of entrees ($5.75 for one choice, $7.45 for two choices and $8.95 for three choices). Leung notes that multiple entree selections are available each day for mix-plate combos, and customers are able to order and go in a matter of minutes.

Asian Mix offers much more than just entree plate selections, including an array of Japanese-influenced bento and ramen choices. Leung recommends Yakitori Chicken ($5.95), a popular bento, which features savory chicken atop rice and served with traditional pickled vegetables. Customers also prefer Tonkotsu Ramen ($8.95), which includes char siu pork and miso base (both imported from Japan). The authentic ingredients and classic flavors meld perfectly to satisfy diners with each hearty spoonful and slurp.

Leung explains that the combination of taste and quality ingredients incorporated into the restaurant’s cuisine, coupled with incredible value and affordable pricing, creates a can’t-miss experience. The owner also notes that diners are guaranteed to enjoy their meal; if for some reason they don’t, a replacement or substitute meal will be made or a full refund provided.

Asian Mix also offers party trays in small (serves 12-15 people), medium (20-25 people) and large (40-50 people) varieties for catering events. Customers may choose from a vast array of favorites, such as Beef Chow Fun or Curry Chow Fun ($22 small, $32 medium and $64 large), as well as popular entrees of Sweet & Sour Pork, Orange Chicken, Spicy Eggplant & Tofu in Garlic Sauce, and Beef with Broccoli or Vegetables ($25 small, $35 medium and $70 large). Most orders can be fulfilled quickly, but for large orders (for more than 50 people), Leung asks for at least one day’s notice.

Asian Mix

1234 S. Beretania St., Shop A-1, Honolulu
521-1688
Open Daily, 10:30 A.M.-8:30 P.M.
HIasianmix.com