Get Into the Mix
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There appears to be a mystery around town. Asian Mix on South Beretania Street is mixing things up with stellar fare that can be missed if not on the lookout.
Are shenanigans at play?
Has the Illuminati infiltrated Honolulu’s restaurant scene? Probably not.
While it is true that Singapore Style Rice Noodles ($7.95) is not on the printed menu, look closely, and the mix of shrimp, barbecue pork, peppers, bean sprouts and onions, is found on the menu board above the counter. Mystery solved.
Though the dish appears to lie under the radar, it is easy to see why it’s so popular. It tastes good. While Indian curry is the most prominent flavor, it does not overpower the other ingredients.
Restaurant owner Daniel Leung explains that the dish’s appeal is attributed to the purposeful pairing of robust flavors and textures. When it comes to Singapore Style Rice Noodles, everything has a purpose. The rice noodles, for example, specifically are chosen to not only absorb flavors, but to withstand the cooking process.
The noodles are first blanched until al dente, and then stir fried to create this signature dish. Asian Mix certainly categorizes itself as a Cantonese-style eatery. However, Leung says, it’s his use of Northern Chinese, Japanese and local influences that make his cuisine stand out.
“Every Chinese restaurant serves Kung Pao chicken, but not every place does it right,” says the jovial owner.
Here at Asian Mix, Kung Pao Chicken ($8.95) is another delight. The chicken is deep fried until crispy (the oil is removed to maintain a clean flavor). Then, the morsels of meat are mixed with dried chili, garlic and onion. A splash of vinegar, soy and sugar sauce, made fresh by head chef Jason Ruan, boasts exacting flavors, which turn the traditional Cantonese-style dish into one that reflects that of Northern Chinese-style cuisine. Lastly, Ruan completes the dish with peanuts and green onion for garnish.
The chicken is wonderfully juicy with a rich and slightly sweet flavor. According to Leung, Kung Pao Chicken is a mild dish that pairs nicely with the restaurant’s various rice, tofu and vegetable options.
And if there is one dish that might give the rice noodles some competition in the fight for customer favorite, it’s Pork Chop with Salt and Pepper ($8.95). Leung says the dish is perfect.
Thin slices of pork are doubled battered in flour and corn starch to produce a crunchy yet light coating. Tossed with wine, fresh chili pepper, garlic and green onion, each slice of meat is smoky, savory and sweet.
More than your typical Chinese restaurant, there’s so much to discover at Asian Mix.
1234 S. Beretania St. Shop A-1
Open daily 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.