Classic Cantonese Comforts

Columns Order of the Day

October 8, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Upon entering Canton Seafood Restaurant, you might notice the eatery’s friendly staff, the bustling, efficient waiters or the comfortable, family-style atmosphere. However, the restaurant is well-known for its Cantonese cuisine, which has attracted both Chinese and locals alike.

  • From back left, House Special Chicken with flavor sauce ($ 15.99), Shrimp with Walnuts and Mayonnaise ($12.99), Chinese Broccoli with Dried Fish ($9.99), Clams with Wine Sauce ($12.99), Deep Fried Flounder with Seasoning Herbs ($15.99, whole)
  • Server Peng Gong holds House Special Chicken with flavor sauce
  • Clams with Wine Sauce ($12.99)
  • Chinese Broccoli with Dried Fish
  • Deep Fried Flounder with Seasoning Herbs
  • Shrimp with Walnuts and Mayonnaise
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“Our food is Hong Kong style, Cantonese style,” explains Grace Chen, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Gerald. “That’s why Chinese people love our food. It’s not like other restaurants; it’s not chop suey and mixed with local (flavors). Ours is authentic. Most of our cooks are from Canton and from the (former) Dynasty restaurant.”

Canton Seafood Restaurant originally opened in Chinatown eight years ago, but in April, the Chens relocated the eatery to its current location on Keeaumoku Street.

“This location is a little bit bigger than the one in Chinatown and it has attracted more people,” Grace says. “Our location is very convenient, close to Ala Moana and to town. We have our own parking lot available, and after 5:30 p.m., customers can also park at the Maui Divers’ parking lot next door.”

When it comes to the restaurant’s signature dish, Grace points to House Chicken with Flavor Sauce ($15.95/half).

“Chinese people (especially) love our House Chicken,” she says. “The sauce is already inside the chicken; it’s not like regular ginger chicken. The cook has a special sauce to make it.”

“The House Chicken with Flavor Sauce and the Deep Fried Flounder with Garlic ($17.95/whole) are definitely house specials,” echoes Gerald.

Other popular entrees include Deep Fried Flounder with Seasoning Herbs ($15.95/whole), Steamed Fresh Fish ($18.95/pound), Honey Walnut Shrimp with Mayonnaise ($12.95), Pan Fried String Beans ($9.95), Pork Chop with Salt and Pepper ($9.95), Chinese Broccoli with Dried Fish ($9.95), Clams with Wine Sauce ($12.99) and Steamed Prawns with Garlic and Fun ($12.95).

“Garlic and green onion are steamed with the prawns,” says Grace of the last dish, “and then under (the prawns), we put the white, fat fun noodles.”

While locals tend to order “safer” dishes like the Deep Fried Flounder with Garlic, Roast Duck ($13.95/half) or Peking Duck ($16.95/half), Chinese customers often opt for more daring dishes, such as the eatery’s Caterpillar Fungus Chicken Soup ($6.99) or the Roast Young Pigeon ($12.99/whole).

“The local people don’t really eat the pigeon, but Chinese people say it’s the best in Hawaii!” Grace says.

Canton Seafood Restaurant offers its customers daily lunch and dinner specials on a separate menu.

which are served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — include Salt and Pepper Pork Chop Noodle in Soup ($6.99), Shrimp with Eggs Chow Fun ($7.99) and Sweet & Sour Cabbage Stir Fried with Rice Noodle ($6.99).

“Seniors love the Sweet & Sour Cabbage Stir Fried with Rice Noodle,” says Grace. “It’s easy to digest and it’s not oily. Also popular is our Won Ton (Gau Gee) Mein in Soup ($5.99).”

In addition to these daily lunch and dinner specials, Canton Seafood Restaurant features monthly specials as well. While October’s special is House Crispy Chicken (half) for $4.99, next month’s special will feature Deep Fried Flounder.

“Every month, we have a different special,” Grace confirms.

November also signifies the start of late-night specials at Canton Seafood Restaurant. These specials will be offered from 9 p.m. to midnight and a new menu is being developed to promote these late-night treats.

While many locals and Chinese customers enjoy their dining experience at Canton Seafood Restaurant, the eatery provides takeout options as well. Party menus are also available, designed for parties of 10. Four different party menus — ranging from $188 to $388 — include the eatery’s signature dishes, such as the House Special Chicken with the Chef’s Special Sauce, to more extravagant creations, including the Live Crab with Crispy Garlic and Live Maine Lobster Sauteed with Chef’s Special Sauce.

Canton Seafood Restaurant

  • Where
    • 923 Keeaumoku Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96814
  • Call
    • (808) 955-3388
  • Hours
    • 10 a.m. – Midnight
    • Monday – Sunday
  • Notes
    • Free parking available behind restaurant; street parking also available.

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