Hankering After Hong Kong Cuisine

Columns Foodie Fare

December 1, 2013

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant specializes in traditional Hong Kong-style fare, which houses a diverse range of eats according to manager Gary Lam. “Historically, with Hong Kong being a harbor, you would have a lot of people coming and going from different countries. So you would have different types of cuisines and tastes. Some of it is old-school fusion cooking,” he explains.

One area of this cuisine the eatery is known for is dim sum. Dim sum items include Shanghai Dumplings ($2.29 for an order of three), which feature pork and a soup baked inside the filling.

Golden Palace also recently rolled out a new and improved recipe for its Pot Sticker/Gyoza ($2.29 for an order of three). The scrumptious pot stickers are filled with pork and chives, along with diced ginger.

“People who have tried the new formula love it,” says Lam. “It is a lot more flavorful and a lot juicier.”

For vegetarians looking for a dim sum delight, Lam recommends the Vegetarian Manapua ($2.29 for an order of three), which features vermicelli, mushrooms, cabbage and shredded carrots.

In addition to dim sum, Golden Palace also has a full menu of meals that include Book Tripe with Ginger and Onion Sauce ($7.95).

“The tripe itself is cooked, and then we add bean sprouts,” Lam says. “And then we flavor it with some shredded green onions and chili peppers. And then we cook it with hot oil and put a

shoyu-based sauce over it. It’s a very popular dish. It’s simple, but it’s very tasty.”

Another popular item is the Golden Pompano ($19.95), a lightly battered fish that is quickly deep fried. It also is seasoned with shredded green onions and chili peppers. The fish is then bathed in Golden Palace’s signature shoyu-based sauce.

“It’s a very meaty fish that is typically found in Asia,” Lam explains. “The homemade sauce that we do is a little sweet and customers love it.”

A go-to dish for many customers, the Salt and Pepper Shrimp ($8.95) features diced chili peppers and diced green onion.

“The shrimp is fried first, and then we cook it with a salt seasoning that the chef makes himself,” he says. “And then we mix it in with the chili peppers and green onions. The result is a salty (and) spicy flavor.”

As a part of Golden Palace’s effort to offer more dishes to vegetarians, the restaurant created Black Mushrooms with Oyster Sauce ($6.95), which features marinated mushrooms over a bed of lettuce ― all bathed in an oyster sauce.

“We cook the mushrooms and marinate them,” Lam says, “so all the flavor is in the mushroom itself. Every bite of the mushroom has that flavor and juice.”

On the Side

Golden Palace opened its doors in Chinatown in 2001, but the owners bring years of experience to the table.

“My dad has been cooking since he was about 17,” says Golden Palace manager Gary Lam. “In Hong Kong, he learned how to make dim sum, as well as other types of Chinese cooking. So he is pretty well-rounded.”

Lam’s father came to the Islands in the 1970s and got hired as a chef at another Chinese restaurant. Lam grew up working at Golden Palace ― and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Golden Palace is family-run, and Lam enjoys being able to spend time with his whole family when he comes to work.

Lam’s father still does a lot of the cooking, but Lam has a hand in the kitchen as well. Currently, they’re in the process of putting together some new items for the holidays.

Lam also aims to create more vegetarian dishes.

“Everybody is really health conscious these days,” Lam says. “I try to think of dishes where it is still good, but it is vegetarian.

“I try to keep up with my customers and what they are looking for,” he adds.

Contact Christina O’Connor at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant

111 N. King St., Honolulu
Daily, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; dim sum starts at 7 a.m. daily

Honolulu, HI 96817

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