Welcome Back to Reality With Watercress

Columns Ono, You Know

May 5, 2013

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Leah Friel

Happy Sunday, Ono readers! I just returned from a fantastic vacation in New York City full of Broadway shows (Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon were my favorites), shopping, sightseeing … and, oh, did I mention eating as if there was no tomorrow? Well, yeah, that too — obviously!

I loved being back in my favorite city, where everything goes and all so-called “diets” go out the window for a bit. Say “hello” to Buttercup Bake Shop cupcakes for breakfast (Devil Dog cupcakes are the best at this Second Avenue bakery, by the way), mile-high pastrami and corned beef sandwiches for lunch at Carnegie, authentically Italian homemade pasta for dinner, and can we say New York cheese-cake for dessert every night? Of course! My oh my, this girl was in heaven and has returned 10 pounds heavier, mind you.

Well, now that I’m back home, this week, it’s time to get back on track with relatively healthy eating. And thank God for the following Ono, You Know locations, which presented me with the best in watercress fare to help cleanse my ever-indulgent palate.

As the oldest known leaf consumed by humans, watercress is botanically related to garden cress, mustard and radish — all renowned for their peppery, tangy flavor. For many, watercress may be an acquired taste, but having grown up enjoying watercress soup made by my mom, this vegetable rich in iron, calcium and folic acid is right up my alley.

I live by the saying, “Everything is best in moderation,” but now I must wean off the sugar and embrace all that is watercress!

Lung Fung Chinese Restaurant

The next time your appetite finds you in East Oahu, you’ll want to make a stop at Lung Fung Chinese Restaurant in Niu Valley Shopping Center for some ono grinds.

On my most recent visit, I had to pay homage to a simple, yet satisfying dish, which restaurant manager Eddie Ma says is popular among his local clientele. Enter Water-cress with Garlic ($9.95).

This guilt-free obsession features the tips of watercress boiled and stir-fried to perfection and flavored with morsels of chopped garlic, and seasoned with a dash of butter, oil and salt. Ma also is quick to note that there’s no MSG in any of Lung Fung’s dishes, thus making the establishment a premier choice for many.

“We also serve watercress with shrimp paste and pork, which customers enjoy as well,” Ma adds. “It’s priority to present our customers with only local watercress.”

Nothing masks the quality of ingredients at Lung Fung, where everything shines in its own light. Delicious!

Lung Fung Chinese Restaurant
Niu Valley Shopping Center
5724 Kalanianaole Hwy.

3660 on the Rise

Make it an occasion to remember at 3660 on the Rise. Known best for its Pacific fusion fare, this top-notch restaurant opened in September 1992 by partners chef Russell Siu and Gale Ogawa.

Incorporated into every dish you’ll find hints of European and Asian flair, brought to life by local ingredients. And while there’s a variety of eclectic options on the menu to select from. If you’re planning a party, 3660’s banquet rooms and catering menu are impressive, to say the least.

Watercress & Maui Onion Salad features a refreshing blend of fresh watercress with furikake, diced tomatoes and Maui onions tossed in a creamy kabayaki dressing.

“We use either Sumida or Nakatani watercress,” says chef de cuisine Lydell Leong, who believes that locally sourced ingredients are key.

The bitterness of the watercress combined with the sweetness of the dressing creates a dish full of texture and flavor, which results in a unique salad that’s hard to resist.

(Inquire within about catering prices.)

3360 on the Rise
3660 Waialae Ave.

Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant

Experience the exotic tastes of China at Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant in Ala Moana Center’s Hookipa Terrace, where chefs have mastered the art of creating captivating dishes that highlight Canton-style and Hong Kong-style cuisine.

With a focus on healthy, Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant highlights a handful of dishes spotlighting local watercress.

Steamed Watercress ($11.95) is the simplest of the bunch and presents diners with fresh watercress doused with aromatic cloves of garlic and ginger.

If you feel a cold coming on, Watercress Soup is the perfect relief. Priced at $10.95, this soup consists of a little bit of everything, including watercress, carrots, pork bone and dates, simmering in a flavorful pork broth. You’ll be back to health in no time!

Finally, indulge in one of the restaurant’s newest dim sum creations, Won Ton with Watercress ($9.95). Here you’ll find a Shanghai-style dumpling filled to the brim with watercress and ground pork. Served with the dumplings is a bowl of chicken stock, perfect for dumpling dipping.

Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant wins with mouth-watering watercress masterpieces.

Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
Ala Moana Center, Hookipa Terrace

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best