Celebrating family-style eating
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Around 2:30 p.m. at Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant, the lunch rush has settled, and its servers finally are able to sit down and have a bite. Dim sum service had started at 8 a.m. and ended at 2 p.m., but lingering diners continue their chit chat, no doubt reminiscing about the epic meal they just had.
And while dim sum always is a favorite choice, the eatery’s extensive menu of a la carte dishes also will not disappoint — starting with Chinese Chicken Salad ($9.95). For this dish, a family-sized portion of lettuce, shredded chicken and deep-fried won ton skins is mixed with a sesame oil and vinegar dressing. The salad is a great appetizer to start with, offering light and tasty flavors with an added crunch from the won ton skins.
Moving on to entrees, Vegetable Gon Lo Mein ($10.95) is sure to please, using Hong Kong-style noodles, which “people are always really interested in,” according to manager Shirley Cheng. The plate comes with a heaping pile of thin noodles and an array of vegetables. Broccoli, choy sum and bean sprouts are stir-fried with the dish in a simple combination of shoyu and sesame oil for the perfect amount of saltiness. Cheng mentions that families like to order this popular menu item, as both kids and adults enjoy the unique texture and flavor of the noodles.
Another dish that should not be overlooked is Deep Fried Chicken with Garlic and Peppers ($13.95). Half of a chicken is deep-fried until the meat is tender, fall-off-the-bone good and the skin is golden and crispy. Roasted garlic is sprinkled over the chicken, alongside green onions and slices of fresh jalapeno pepper. The peppers give the dish some spice, but they also can be removed upon request. From the crackle of the crispy skin in your mouth to the crunch of the roasted garlic, this entree easily is a fan-favorite.
As the restaurant is able to accommodate big parties — with large round tables available — and offers meal portions purposely made for sharing, Nice Day has become a perfect place for family dinners and life’s many celebrations. These few lulling moments of quiet in the afternoon soon will be interrupted by bustling servers with hands full of steaming, aromatic dishes, as generations of diners come together to share a meal — a ritual Nice Day respects and adamantly encourages.
Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant
1425 Liliha St., Honolulu
Daily, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.