Get a Head Start On Your Chinese New Year FeastFeatures Inside Feature
January 15, 2017
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
In anticipation of Chinese New Year, which begins Jan. 28 to coincide with the lunar calendar, Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant is ready to help local diners ring in the Year of the Rooster by serving up tasty cuisine in an inviting, relaxed atmosphere.
Just in time for the momentous celebration, Nice Day offers New Year’s Jai ($11.95), a celebratory mixture of long rice noodles, tofu, bean curd, mushrooms, cabbage and snow peas. Manager Shirley Cheng explains that the vegetarian dish is ideal for Chinese New Year as a means of bestowing good luck upon friends and family members.
Chinese New Year Gau ($6) is another specialty available through mid-February. The sticky rice pudding couples the consistency of mochi with a “not too sweet, but just right” hint of brown sugar — and Chinese red date for good luck.
Cheng recommends Lo Mein with Vegetables ($35 for a small pan that feeds 16-20 people) for upcoming holiday get-togethers, as the tasty noodles and vegetables are perfect for parties and can be ordered and picked up on the day of one’s event.
Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant serves up nearly 200 intriguing a la carte selections, including sizzling plates, appetizers, soups, seafood, pork, beef, poultry, as well as vegetable and rice dishes. Additionally, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, diners may delve into a host of dim sum (prices range from $3 to $6.50 ) selections that are prepared fresh every morning and served tableside by Nice Day’s friendly staff.
Like its sister eatery Happy Day Chinese Restaurant in Kaimuki, Nice Day continues to please multiple generations of diners under the guidance of co-owners Lisa Lum and Sang Chan. Nice Day’s convenient Liliha Street locale is situated just minutes away from the heart of downtown Honolulu and the adjacent Chinatown area, and has treated customers to delicious Chinese cuisine since 2008. The restaurant is adorned with large red lanterns to bring both customers and employees good luck.
“We use healthy vegetable oil in our cooking and also incorporate more vegetables in our recipes for customers to enjoy,” says Cheng. “I always overhear customers saying how much they enjoy our food, and they keep coming back.”
Nice Day offers a host of pork and poultry choices, which are great as stand-alone entrees or as pupus to share with loved ones. Minute Chicken Chow Mein ($10.95) is a popular dish featuring perfectly seasoned chicken atop a large bed of noodles that are accompanied by fresh vegetables and a tasty sauce. Cheng explains that Hong Kong-style noodle dishes are healthier than cake noodle or similar selections, as Nice Day’s versions are cooked in less oil, resulting in crispy, flavorful noodles that aren’t too heavy.
Salt & Pepper Caplin Fish ($10.95) is a “nice and crispy” choice consisting of a small, whole fish that’s lightly breaded and stir-fried with the perfect blend of seasonings and spices to add an extra kick to the meal.
Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant
1425 Liliha St., Nos. 2-5, Honolulu
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Note: The restaurant can host large parties of up to 150 people (a minimum of one day’s notice is recommended to ensure availability), providing a perfect option for family gatherings. An ample supply of free parking also is available in Nice Day’s mostly covered and secure lot, which is accessible from both Liliha and Beretania streets.