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Order of the Day

Sharing is Caring at Ocean Dim Sum

By Michelle Lee Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
June 29, 2014

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In the fast-paced, competitive world that is today’s business climate, owning a successful restaurant can be a challenge unlike any other. Yet, with the right tools, namely a genuine love of food and desire to share that passion with others, culinary serendipity inevitably results. For Darren and Elaine Li, owners of the newly opened Ocean Dim Sum in Waipahu, that love first blossomed while living in their hometown of Canton, China.

“Growing up, cooking was a significant part of our lives and something we passed on to our own children,” says Elaine, whose daughter Michele works as restaurant cashier. “The food speaks to our own personal heritage, so we take the extra time and effort to ensure everything is done well.”

Made completely from scratch, Ocean Dim Sum’s dishes pay homage to some of Canton and Hong Kong’s most revered dim sum eats with a local twist. Popular choices include Deep-Fried Pork Hash (five for $4.50, one dozen for $9.50) and Half Moon (five for $4.50, one dozen for $9.50). “We cook everything for that day only to keep the ingredients fresh and extra tasty,” says Darren. “Customers can mix and match whatever appeals to them.”

In harmony with the restaurant’s impressive lineup of dim sum favorites, including Taro Gok (three for $2.75, one dozen for $9.50) and Egg Custard Bun (three for $2.75, six for $5.50), no trip to Ocean Dim Sum would be complete without some famous manapua.

The couple recommend Steamed Manapua Mini Chicken (three for $2.75, six for $5.50), as well as the classic Steamed Manapua with Chair Siu (three for $4.50, one dozen for $17). “To keep our manapuas fresh and allow them to retain more flavor, we make our own sauce, as well as the honey glaze on the exterior,” says Elaine. “In the end, you can tell it’s so much more flavorful with a nice, fluffy, textured bun.”

For a limited time only, Dining Out readers are welcome to take advantage of a special Hot Deals offer available at the Waipahu retail store, redeemable for a $20 voucher for only $12 (not valid on drinks) and a $40 voucher for $26 toward catering with a one-day advanced order. Vouchers are available for purchase via HotDealsHawaii.com. The deals are not combinable with other offers and/or discounts, and are valid for six months.

Ocean Dim Sum

94-370 Pupupani St., Suite 101, Waipahu
847-8888
Monday–Friday, 6 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.