A fresh take on Chinese favorites
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Royal Palace Chinese Restaurant in Aiea has been open for about 30 years, but the restaurant recently changed ownership and offers a brand new menu featuring authentic Cantonese-style dishes.
Located in Stadium Mall (across Aloha Stadium, near Ice Palace), Royal Palace has been a longtime local favorite. New owner and chef Jin He Wu, who is originally from Zhongsan city in China, took over the restaurant about three months ago. He moved to Hawaii in 1997, and previously worked as a chef at Panda Cuisine and Lobster King in Honolulu.
“I was a chef for so many years for other restaurants, but I always wanted to have my own business,” he says. “I knew the previous owners, and I thought this place is nice, the location is good and I just really love to cook. Also, I like that it has a big dining room, which is good for large parties.”
Among his top recommendations are Roast Duck (half $13.50, whole $27), Minute Chicken Chow Mein ($9.95) and General Jor’s Spicy Boneless Chicken ($9.50).
“Roast duck commonly is served with plum or hoisin sauce, but I make a different type of sauce that is more like a prune sauce,” says Wu. “It’s Hong Kong-style roast duck, so the skin is more crispy and the meat is moist, not dry.
“For the Minute Chicken Chow Mein, we use Hong Kong-style noodles that are skinny and crispy. This dish is special. It’s something new, and once customers try it, they love it.”
When it comes to General Jor’s Spicy Boneless Chicken, don’t let the name fool you. I usually can’t handle spicy food, but this was not too spicy at all. Even my two young children loved it.
For years, Royal Palace was known for its lunch and dinner buffet, and this was something that Wu still wanted to offer. The buffet line — available from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (for lunch) and from 5 p.m. to close (for dinner) — features about 50 items, including desserts and ice cream.
There also is a Mid-Day Special offered from 2 to 4:30 p.m., where patrons can pick from Chinese Chicken Salad, Oyster Sauce Chicken Cake Noodle, Char Siu Fried Rice, Tofu with Mix Vegetable or Cold Ginger Chicken on Rice for $6.95 each.
It’s a new beginning at Royal Palace. So, whether you’re a loyal customer or new to this local Chinese eatery, it’s a good time to visit or revisit.
And don’t forget Chinese New Year coming up Feb. 19. Gung Hee Fat Choy!
Royal Palace Chinese Restaurant
4510 Salt Lake Blvd., Aiea
10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily