Any Kind of Meal… AnytimeColumns Order of the Day
February 6, 2011
Story By: Dining Out Team |
Afew years ago, Cindy Wong took her young son to visit family in Hong Kong. The boy slept for the entire duration of the flight, and when the plane landed at about 11 p.m., he woke up hungry.
“By the time we got our luggage and checked into the hotel, it was almost 2 in the morning,” Wong remembers. “We went downstairs and looked around, and they had cafe-style restaurants, open 24 hours! There are many 24-hour cafes in Hong Kong; you can come in at any time.”
And that’s how Wong and her husband, Ken, were inspired to open the Anytime Cafe. Tucked into a corner of Market City Shopping Center, this bright, friendly little restaurant offers a diverse menu of Asian, Italian and local favorites designed to please anyone, anytime.
Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. till midnight, Saturdays from 8 a.m. till midnight and Sundays from 8 a.m. till 10 p.m., Anytime Cafe is becoming increasingly popular with Honolulu’s late-night diners, who come for the food, the friendliness and the easy late-night parking. The owners hope this trend will continue.
“We’ve only been open a year, but we plan to be open till 2 a.m. or later on weekends,” Wong says.
The little eatery’s menu is eclectic and intriguing. Entrees are gently priced; none costs more than $11.95. And each item on the menu is available — you guessed it — at any time. Risotto for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Why not? There are six different kinds here, including Vegetable ($9.50), Pork Chop ($11.95) and Shrimp ($11.95). Pasta dishes include Chicken & Mushrooms Alfredo ($8.95), Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti ($9.95), Chicken Parmesan ($9.50) and Baked Vegetable Cannelloni ($9.50). Or you can build your own pizza ($10.95), with your choice of 10 different toppings.
From the other side of the globe, Hainan Chicken ($11.95), often associated with Singaporean cuisine, consists of a quarter chicken cooked in sauce, served at room temperature with herbed rice.
“Asians love this dish very much!” says Wong. Offerings from the cafe’s Noodle Bar include Shrimp Wonton, Beef Brisket and Tendon Noodles, and Pig Feet, all with broth. Thin or wide noodles are $7.50; add 40 cents for shrimp noodles or $1.50 for lo mein. The Baked Pork Chop with Fried Rice ($11.95), a dish from Hong Kong, is made with rice, chops, tomato sauce and cheese, all baked together.
If you prefer a slightly more traditional morning meal, you could order from Anytime’s diverse breakfast menu. Depending on your tradition, you might consider the French Toast with Peanut Filling, Hong Kong Style ($6.25); the Salmon Set, Japanese Style ($8.95); or even the Rice Soup & Dim Sum, Chinese Style ($7.95), which comes with rice soup with black egg and pork. Local palates love the Loco Moco Eggs Benedict ($9.50; made with Angus beef and Hollandaise) and the Steak and Eggs ($8.95). Those who order traditional breakfasts may choose from several different sides (the sweet potato fries are spectacular).
Want soup? If you’re looking for traditional American-style potage, you can get Cream of Corn or Minestrone ($3.50 each), but if you’re craving congee, the restaurant has that, too: a half-
dozen versions that include Pork with Black Egg ($6.95), Meatball with Shrimp Paste ($7.95) and Boneless Chicken ($6.95).
Even the beverage menu is infused with fusion. Traditional coffees and teas are available, but the Wongs also offer Thai Iced Tea ($3.50), Hong Kong Style Milk Tea ($2.95-$3.50) and Iced Vietnamese Coffee ($3.50), made with condensed milk and chicory coffee in little cup-top filters.
Those who still have room for dessert after a meal here might be tempted by Tiramisu or Mango Pudding ($3.95 each), but many opt for the Anytime Cafe’s famed Snow Ice (available with mango, green tea, strawberry or fresh fruit, $5.95). Unlike shave ice, which gets its flavor from the syrups that are poured over it, snow ice is actually flavored before it’s frozen; the shaved ice is topped with fruit, jellies and juice-filled pearls.
The restaurant’s special Valentine’s Day menu, at $19.95 per person, will include Fried Dumpling Salad, Shrimp Bisque Soup and a choice of Osso Buco or Seafood Pasta, with Creme Brulee for dessert.
Thanks to the diverse flavors on its menu, Anytime Cafe is a great place for family dining and parties. Even kids love it. Wong’s son, who recently turned 10, polled his friends to see where they wanted to celebrate his birthday.
“He came home from school,” reports Wong, “and said, ‘Mom, they all want to go to Anytime Cafe.'”
- Market City Shopping Center
- 2919 Kapiolani Boulevard #218
- Honolulu, HI 96826
- (808) 735-3888
- Monday – Friday
- 10 a.m. – midnight
- 8 a.m. – midnight
- 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.