Take your taste buds around the worldAli Carte Columns
January 4, 2015
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
When was the last time you saw won ton noodle soup and pizza offered at the same restaurant? At Market City Shopping Center’s Anytime Cafe, these are just some of the wide range of internationally inspired flavors you’ll find on one menu.
Owned by husband-and-wife duo Ken and Cindy Wong, the eatery and its variety of cuisines are reminiscent of the cafes that line the streets of Hong Kong, wherein patrons may delight in a little bit of everything, all under one roof.
“This kind of cafe is very popular in Hong Kong. You can eat anything inside: pasta, a sandwich, steak, American food,” shares Cindy.
Among Anytime Cafe’s plethora of cuisines is comforting Italian fare, spear-headed in the kitchen by head chef Sonny Laforteza, whose background includes working in fine-dining Italian restaurants. He infuses high-quality ingredients and techniques into the cafe’s reasonably priced offerings, such as Shrimp Risotto ($13.95). The dish shines with Arborio rice, imported from Italy and meant specifically for heavenly risottos, as well as large shrimp and bay shrimp simmering in pink tomato broth.
Some of the best-selling items are the restaurant’s spaghetti specialties, including Fresh Clam Spaghettini with White Wine Sauce ($11.95). A house favorite, this entree tantalizes with sauteed fresh and chopped clams prepared with olive oil and garlic-infused white wine sauce. “This is a very, very popular dish out of our spaghetti items,” explains Cindy. “Even my husband loves it, too! He likes the clams and the white wine sauce.”
Adding ethnic flair to the menu, Anytime Cafe also boasts mouthwatering eats you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere on the island. One such pupu is Thai Style Pork Cheek ($6.95), which Cindy describes as a widespread delight in Hong Kong. It features pork cheek, a cut of meat that is not easy to attain locally. “If you don’t special-order the meat, it’s very hard to buy it from the market,” she says.
The tender and flavorful appetizer is paired with an addicting spicy lemon dipping sauce, and the owners say it is ideal for enjoying with a cold glass of beer.
While the cafe’s regular menu is available all day, every day, Anytime’s exclusive breakfast menu may be devoured Saturdays and Sundays only, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Be sure to try Mochi Waffle with Fresh Fruit ($8.95), presenting a perfectly crispy exterior and soft, chewy interior.
And if you stop by Anytime Cafe today, you’ll catch the last day of the Holiday Special offering Fried Dumpling Salad, Cream of Oyster & Mushroom Soup, as well as a choice of entree and dessert for $26.95.
Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd.
Monday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday, 10:30 a.m.-midnight
Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-midnight
Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m.