Happy days are here to stay

Columns What's Cooking?

November 2, 2014

Story By: Rachel Breit | Photos by: Rachel Breit

It’s no wonder people come from all over the island to feast at Happy Days Chinese Restaurant. Though the interior is spacious, what’s contained inside the Kaimuki eatery’s walls is a cozy retreat filled with smiling customers, chopsticks in hand, digging into plates heaped with tasty, traditional Hong Kong-style eats.

While owner Lisa Lum confesses to not being the most handy in the kitchen, she certainly knows her stuff when it comes to making sure customers are satisfied. After 13 years, her passion “to see customers happy,” is still going strong. Here are some highlights that she says are guaranteed to please:

Roast Duck’s ($13.95, half) crispy skin and tender meat is the deceptively simple outcome of a meticulous preparation a dedicated chef has honed for more than 20 years. The rich meat is enjoyable plain, but Lum also suggests dipping it in some sweet, savory hoisin sauce. Ducks are roasted fresh three times daily, and a half is a good portion to share among six diners.

Choy Sum Sea Bass ($12.95) is lighter fare. Succulent sea bass delicately flavored with aromatic ginger and garlic is matched with tender, crisp choy sum for a result that’s “very healthy,” says Lum, not to mention, tasty.

Eggplant with Tofu ($10.95) features the firmer and more sweet Asian eggplant and fried tofu glazed in garlic oyster sauce. Both ingredients, coated in the slightly sweet sauce, are juicy and full of flavor.

One bite from any of the restaurant’s dishes, in addition to the hospitable service, and you’ll understand why customers for so many a year have returned. What’s more to celebrate? The eatery’s private room is ideal for large parties. Simply call ahead to reserve it.

Happy Days Chinese Restaurant

3553 Waialae Ave., Honolulu
Daily, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96816

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best