Royal Palace enters tasty new chapter
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Nestled within Stadium Mall right next to Ice Palace and across the street from Aloha Stadium, Royal Palace Restaurant stands out as an oasis of mouth-watering Chinese fare for kamaaina diners. While the eatery is not new to the area, co-owners Qiaoli Yang and Jinhe Wu recently attained ownership of the establishment and took over operations in October.
According to Yang’s daughter and manager, Yan Xu, the restaurant will continue to serve as a friendly and scrumptious neighborhood haunt that is an ideal spot for large gatherings. “Everybody can come try our food, and because we have big rooms, people can come here and have parties,” says Xu, whose family is from Zhejiang, China.
In addition to co-owning the eatery, Wu serves as Royal Palace’s new head chef, bringing a wealth of Cantonese pizazz to the menu. Originally from Guangdong, China, he moved to Hawaii as a teenager and has been cooking for the nearly 20 years since.
One of the delectable new items Wu brings to the menu is Stir Fried Jellyfish with XO sauce ($12.95), featuring the unique seafood with an array of vegetables prepared in a well-seasoned, savory sauce. As one of Wu’s specialties, the dish is a wonderfully warm alternative to the traditionally cold-style preparations of jellyfish, and the seafood meat takes on a consistency similar to squid, while maintaining delicacy and tenderness.
The restaurant also presents irresistible renditions of classics, such as Roast Duck ($13.50 half, $27 whole), served perfectly crisp yet moist, as well as flavorful Roast Sweet Pork Char Siu ($9.55), which is prepared fresh daily.
Diners have already fallen for Wu’s Honey Glazed Walnuts Shrimp ($13.95), with its tempting mix of deep-fried shrimp covered in a creamy sauce made from mayonnaise, lemon and condensed milk. Sweetly glazed walnuts complete this family-friendly favorite.
While Royal Palace is in the process of unveiling all of its new menu items, regulars will be happy to know that the restaurant’s allyou-can-eat buffet is here to stay. More than 40 fresh items — including house-specialty Salt and Pepper Shrimp, fruits, desserts and more — are available during lunch ($12.95; 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) and dinner ($15.95; 5-9 p.m.). During weekends and holidays, the buffet is priced at $16.95, and the restaurant offers special deals for keiki and seniors (children less than 3 years old eat free; ages 3-4 receive 50 percent off; ages 5-7 and seniors receive 10 percent off).
Xu encourages patrons to take advantage of the Lunch Special, in which items from the buffet are available for takeout throughout the day. Any two items are offered for $6.95, while any three are priced at $8.75, and all take-out specials come with steamed rice, fried rice, chow fun or noodles. The manager notes that during dinner hours and weekends, an additional $1 is added to the offer.
As Royal Palace Restaurant embarks on its new dining chapter, patrons can look forward to more can’t-resist Cantonese classics ahead.
Royal Palace Restaurant
4510 Salt Lake Blvd., Honolulu (Across from Aloha Stadium)
Daily, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.