New beginnings for Chinese food favorite

Columns Lite Bites

April 27, 2014

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Hung Won Seafood Restaurant in Kaimuki has been a neighborhood favorite since the 1980s (originally called Kwok’s Chop Suey before it changed ownership and was renamed to Hung Won in 1995). However, the restaurant recently changed ownership again, with the new owners offering some new flavors and a slightly new look.

“We heard the owner wanted to sell, and saw an opportunity,” explains Kevin Li, who co-owns the restaurant with his uncles Guang Qiang Ruan and Ju Wei Ruan, and cousin Janice Ouyang. “It’s a small, family business. My uncles were the chefs at the original Panda Cuisine for about 19 years. The taste of our food is more authentic. We use less oil, so the taste is lighter, less oily and not as heavy as some other restaurants. Also, we take care of our customers a lot.”

Since taking over the restaurant last month, they’ve done minor renovations, changed the color of the table cloths and cleaned up the place. They’ve also added dishes to the menu which mainly features Cantonese-style food with a local twist.

Among the popular items is Orange Chicken ($8.95) and Honey Roast BBQ Pork (also known as char siu, $9.95 for 1 pound) which is made fresh daily. Both are prepared with tasty homemade sauces, and are full of flavor and very tender.

The chefs, who are originally from Canton, also like to create dishes that aren’t usually found at other Chinese restaurants, such as Lamb with Fresh Leek ($12.95). “It’s something they’ve been doing for awhile, and people like it,” says Li. “The lamb is sliced using a machine, and then they stir-fry it with a little bit of shoyu and oyster sauce, and along with fresh leek, it just tastes really good.”

Other local favorites are the Cold Ginger Chicken which is on special for $6.95 through May 2 (normally priced at $9.95), as well as the Hong Kong Style Roast Duck, Roast Pork Belly and Prawn with Honey Walnuts.

Enjoy complimentary jasmine tea when you dine-in. Take out and catering orders also are welcome, and there’s free parking available in front of the restaurant.

Hung Won Seafood Restaurant

3434 Waialae Avenue (between 8th and 9th avenues)
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Honolulu, HI 96816

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