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Order of the Day

Sharing a Zest for Life and Flavorful Food

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Anthony Consillio
May 10, 2015

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Raymond Chau believes that the key to remaining young and staying healthy is to simply follow his lead.

The energetic 70-year-old chef and restauranteur is “still kickin'” and recently introduced a new Chinese restaurant that incorporates lighter styles of cooking and offers up a host of healthy yet flavorful menu selections.

Conveniently located in downtown Honolulu’s bustling Chinatown district, Ray’s BYOB Kitchen is situated on the Ewa end of Chinese Cultural Plaza. As the restaurant’s name suggests, diners may bring and enjoy their favorite alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, without incurring any corkage fees; glasses are also provided.

Chau, who has been honing his skills within the local restaurant industry since 1978, opened Ray’s last month. Diners may recognize the restauranteur’s work from some of his other successful ventures such as Won Kee, another popular downtown Chinese restaurant. Chau cooks up traditional Hong Kong-style Chinese cuisine with a “personal touch” — the addition of steak, ribs and fresh seafood to the menu.

Steamed Island Moi ($15) is one of Ray’s catches of the day that alternates depending on freshness and is seasoned to perfection. As is the case with all entrees at the restaurant, diners may add rice for $1 more. Customers also receive a house-special Chinese herbal tea with each meal.

“I encourage people to eat more fish. It’s healthier and you’ll live longer,” Chau explains. “Too much animal fat is not good for you, so you need to eat fish to stay young like me.”

Baby Back Ribs ($12) with chef’s special house-made barbecue sauce incorporates Western influences, while Oriental Chicken Salad ($12) offers a light, refreshing option served with house dressing.

Customers also rave about Wineor Tea-Poached Chicken ($15), which highlights a whole free-range chicken served cold with one’s choice of wine-flavored or ginger, scallion and garlic-infused sauces.

Ray’s BYOB Kitchen offers tasty “hot pot” dishes ($20 for medium, $30 for large) that serve up to four diners. Flavor profiles include Chicken ‘N Peppercorn, Fish ‘N Wild Mushrooms and Pork Ribs ‘N Wild Mushrooms, while guests also may select from additional organic vegetables ($3 apiece) to add to their favorite hot pot.

Customers dining at lunch (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) may select from a host of a la carte dim sum choices, ranging from Beef Funn ($5) to Chicken Bun ($3.80 for three pieces).

Take-out orders are welcomed and customers will receive 10 percent off such orders — a great deal for those on the go.

Ray’s BYOB Kitchen

Chinese Cultural Plaza
100 N. Beretania St. #113, Honolulu
888-8306
Open daily, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.