Hooked on seafood

Columns What's Cooking?

August 18, 2015

Story By: Caitlin Basilio |

Thirty five years ago, Raymond Chau was working in the very same location that his new restaurant, Ray’s BYOB Kitchen, stands today.

Having just opened shop three months ago, the chef and owner is getting reacquainted with his prime location at Chinatown Cultural Plaza, right near the main entrance that is flanked by two golden lions.

Throughout his cooking career, Chau always has focused on seafood dishes. This week, he shares four of his most popular menu items: King Crab ($15), Fish of the Day ($15), Jumbo Shrimp ($12) and Oriental Chicken Salad ($12).

For his fellow seafood-lovers, Chau’s King Crab is prepared with a house-special Asian black bean sauce. The dish is served with pork hash, garlic, chopped ginger, oyster sauce and soy sauce, and it’s topped off with scrambled eggs.

A variety of fish — such as mullet, moi or papio — are featured in Fish of the Day. When Dining Out stopped by, Chau presented mullet served in its entirety, along with garnishes.

About 10 pieces of juicy crustaceans make up the Jumbo Shrimp dish. What sets it apart, though, is its one-of-a-kind strawberry puree sauce.

Catering to an array of palates, Ray’s BYOB Kitchen offers more than just seafood. Oriental Chicken Salad, for instance, is large enough for four people to share, and is served with Chinese black vinaigrette.

“We use a lot of fresh veggies like spinach and organic vegetables to go with the chicken, and we only use white chicken breast — all organic,” explains Chau.

The eatery currently is running a special deal you won’t want to miss: When customers order a fish dish for $15, they may purchase the King Crab for only $10.

“This one is a very good combination because people eat fish and crab together,” shares Chau.

Chau also is proud to use fresh ingredients in all of his dishes. He cooks up his menu with free-range chicken, organic vegetables and low-MSG sauces without preservatives or chemicals.

“People know me for seafood, and now healthy ingredients (too),” he says. “I really want people to eat more fish because we have such a big selection, and if people eat more fish, they’ll live longer.”

As its name suggests, Ray’s is BYOB without any restrictions.

“You bring your own bottle, we provide glasses, ice, whatever — there’s absolutely no charge,” says Chau.

The restaurant also prides itself on its cleanliness and convenience, which are offered in a spacious interior. Additionally, Chinatown Cultural Plaza houses a parking garage with validation, and there’s a lot of street parking nearby.

Ray’s BYOB Kitchen

100 N. Beretania St., Ste. 113, Honolulu
Daily, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and 5-9 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96817

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Hawaii's Best