‘Un-baa-lievable’ eats for Year of the SheepDigest Eat This
February 15, 2015
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
As this week’s Chinese New Year celebration ushers in the Year of the Sheep, Little Village Noodle House has created a special menu designed specifically to help diners get a fresh start in the lunar-calendar year.
As proof to the saying that good things come in small packages, some of Hawaii’s best, award-winning Chinese cuisine can be found tucked away in downtown Honolulu at Little Village. From its home in the heart of Chinatown, the restaurant has garnered an abundance of critical acclaim thanks to its team of culinary experts who have operated restaurants in the Islands for the greater part of four decades.
“We want customers to rediscover the restaurant because we offer a lot of value, quality ingredients and great service, all within a casual, friendly atmosphere,” says general manager David Chang. “We cook everything to order, so every item is fresh. We also get our fresh vegetables daily from the markets here in Chinatown.”
Little Village incorporates spry ingredients in its special 10 Course Set Menu available Feb. 13-19 in honor of Chinese New Year. Reservations are recommended, as the set menu is extremely popular for just $328 (10 guests) and $138 (four guests). The can’t-miss deal also includes complimentary steamed rice. Chang notes that he will serve the special offerings starting at dinner Monday night, and will even extend the special into the following week for those who make reservations and put down a deposit.
The Year of the Sheep Menu includes a vast array of favorites including Spicy Szechwan Australian Lamb Rack, which is pan-fried with cumin and peppers to give the succulent meat a spicy kick. Diners also will rave about Steamed Chinese Broccoli (Kai Lan) served in a savory oyster sauce with olive oil, and Black Bean Oyster on Half Shell — steamed live rock oysters topped with a tangy black bean paste.
The tasty dishes are created by the restaurant’s executive chef Kenneth Chan, who has blended the major styles of Chinese cooking — Northern, Hong Kong and Szechwan — for more than 30 years at an array of popular local eateries.
Chan uses a special recipe to craft Good Luck Jai, a traditional dish synonymous with Chinese New Year that is known for bringing good luck and prosperity. The vegetarian house specialty includes rice noodles, carrots, tofu, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots, all tossed with a scintillating sauce, olive oil, garlic and ginger. The culinary master describes the tasty dish as one “loaded with flavor,” and notes that the olive oil makes it a healthier option without sacrificing taste.
Additional favorites served on the special set menu include: Imperial Scallop Melon Soup with winter melon, dried scallops, bamboo shoots and egg whites; Crispy Lettuce Wraps with minced chicken, water chestnuts, mushrooms and chives; the ever-popular Honey Walnut Shrimp; Crispy Skin Roasted Duck; and signature Orange Chicken.
“All of these items symbolize something related to Chinese New Year and everything has a meaning, whether it’s for improved health or good luck,” Chang explains. “The Jai is a must have, it’s known for bringing good luck — some people refer to it as ‘Buddha’s Pasta.’ The oysters are also symbolic, as they bring money and prosperity.”
Little Village gives diners a big reason to make the trip into downtown Honolulu. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and the eatery’s friendly staff is standing by to make the experience a memorable one.
Little Village Noodle House
1113 Smith St., Honolulu
Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to midnight