Vegetarian eats that Popeye would approve of
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What adult doesn’t remember constantly being commanded to “eat your vegetables!” as a child? From mothers clucking to cartoons coaxing (Popeye, anyone?), we were always reminded of the rewards for consuming all things green.
And where some of these memories are marred by nightmarish meals filled with barely edible mush, Waikiki has one restaurant offering roughage that won’t make you wince.
Seafood Village Chinese Cuisine, located on the lower level of Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, offers vegetarians a myriad of menu options.
When asked what he would suggest, Seafood Village manager Yao Ming Guan shares a secret ingredient that’ll make patrons strong (just like a famous sailor man): spinach.
Simple yet still filled with flavor and vitamins, Ong Choy with Chili and Bean Curd Sauce ($14.95) presents a vibrant bouquet of Ong Choy (Asian water spinach) served steaming hot and seasoned with just the right heat via red chili pepper. Its thin coating of sauce is made with fermented bean curd, a popular Chinese condiment known as fu yu.
Guan further shares that the dish is “a little bit salty and spicy, which gives it just enough flavor.”
Spinach Fried Rice ($12.95), a hearty, protein-packed entree infused with spinach, egg and green onion, takes “going green” to a whole new level. Quick fried and just lightly seasoned with a pinch of salt, it’s a healthier, more nutrient-rich (and vegetarian-friendly) twist on the classic Chinese fried rice. With its colorful ingredients and aromatic quality, the selection is undeniably enticing — a world away from that yucky forced-upon-you fare of childhood yesteryears.
And like all good children learn, once you’ve eaten your veggies, you can have dessert! Guan recommends Egg Cream Bun ($3.25 for order of three), a delightful trio of steamed buns — served warm and soft — encasing a subtly sweet, yet rich and unique, custard-textured filling that billows from every bite.
“If you are vegetarian, and you like dim sum,” Guan says, “it’s a great choice … representing the sweeter side of the dim sum menu.”
Seafood Village Chinese Cuisine
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa
2424 Kalakaua Ave. No. 103, Waikiki
Daily, lunch: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.; dinner: 5-10 p.m.
Note: $3 validated self-parking and $4 valet parking available at the Hyatt