China meets Japan at this table
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While Chinese and Japanese fare both are frequent favorites among diners in the Islands, it’s not often that you see them both on the same menu. But when Chukaya Sea Dragon Table opened two years ago, that is exactly what it sought to do.
“We have a mix of Chinese and Japanese styles,” explains manager and chef Nico Nitta.
The restaurant serves Chinese food as it’s done in Japan. Nitta points to Vegetable Seafood Crispy Soba ($12) as an example of just how Chinese and Japanese flavors coincide. The dish features Chinese cabbage, carrots, pork, choi sum, shrimp and mushroom doused in a creamy, shoyu-based sauce.
“This is a favorite among our customers,” Nitta adds. “In the Chinese style of cooking, usually the noodles are more crispy. But we serve them ‘medium-crispy.’ Here, you can taste the Japanese and Chinese influence.”
For those who want to dig into a dish that’s predominantly Japanese, Tan Tan Men Deluxe ($14), which is filled to the brim with char siu, seaweed, bean sprouts, green onions and a boiled egg, is the best choice.
“Ramen originated in Japan, and the miso, sesame and shoyu-based broth is made in the Japanese style,” Nitta says. “The tonkotsu broth is tasty and not too strong.”
To complement any dish, Nitta recommends Yaki Gyoza ($3.90 lunch and happy hour, $5 regular for five pieces), which is prepared in the authentic Japanese style, and features pork, cabbage, onion, garlic and ginger.
Chukaya Sea Dragon Table is the perfect place to meet for happy hour, which runs from 5 to 6 p.m., and features deals on drinks and pupus. For large gatherings, an upstairs room (seats about 30 people) can be reserved.
Chukaya Sea Dragon Table
1491 S. King St., Honolulu
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner: 5 to 10 p.m.
Happy Hour: 5 to 6 p.m.