Japanese-inspired Chinese food
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Ten years ago, Atsushi Fukuda moved to Hawaii from Japan to open a food concession in Shirokiya called Usagiya offering traditional and local-style bentos and okazu. The food booth has been very popular, but he really missed eating chukaya or Chinese food as it’s made in Japan, noting there weren’t any restaurants like that here in the Islands. So last year, Fukuda opened Chukaya Sea Dragon Table in Honolulu.
“The Chinese food at restaurants in Japan is different from here,” says Fukuda, who has worked in the food industry for about 30 years. “It’s not as greasy, and it tastes different.”
Among the popular dishes is the richly textured Tan Tan Men (ramen noodles), which at Chukaya Sea Dragon Table is made with two types of sesame paste and a special spicy miso consisting of red pepper and a variety of miso. Try Tan Tan Men Deluxe ($14), which is topped with char siu, niku miso, kakuni, boiled egg, hot bean sprouts, bok choy, seaweed and green onion.
Also a favorite is Chinese Vegetable Crispy Soba ($12), which visibly blends familiar Chinese cuisine with Japanese ingredients. Instead of Chinese-style cake noodles or chow mein, this dish incorporates soba noodles cooked slightly crispy — similar to cake noodles — and comes with chopped vegetables, pork, shrimp and squid, flavored with a tasty sauce.
The extensive menu also includes a variety of dim sum, salads, soba and udon, tempura, donburi and teishoku. Conveniently located at the corner of King and Kaheka streets, the two-story Chukaya Sea Dragon Table also has a full bar with happy hour specials from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. Free parking is available behind the restaurant, entering on Kaheka Street.
Chukaya Sea Dragon Table
1491 S. King St. (Located at the corner of S. King and Kaheka streets)
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last call at 2:30 p.m.)
Dinner: 5 to 10 p.m. (last call at 9:30 p.m.)
Happy hour: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m.