As Waialae Avenue proceeds to evolve into an epicenter of trendy restaurants and cafes, there still are tried-and-true establishments that continue to thrive after decades of business. Because of these culinary gems, Kaimuki remains very much vintage and every bit authentic.
Even though Hung Won Seafood Restaurant has taken new ownership in the last two years, the Chinese eatery still provides delicious fare with warm and friendly service.
Braised E-Mein with Crab Meat ($13.95)
On one afternoon, an elderly gentleman walks into the restaurant and is greeted with familiarity. Hung Won’s manager Janice Ouyang repeats his order back to him, as if she’s done so, for the same exact order, a hundred times before. And that’s the feeling one gets at Hung Won: it’s a place where people remember you and treat you like family.
Not only is the restaurant inviting, but it also is the ultimate destination for Cantonese-style cuisine. Roasted peking duck is displayed in the window, ready to be devoured, and a tempting selection of specials are written on a chalkboard.
With the recent addition of new menu items, Hung Won wows customers with dishes like Pei Pa Tofu with Head Lettuce ($12.95). A mixture of pork and tofu are lightly fried to a golden crisp, then laid on a bed of shredded head lettuce and doused with a savory oyster sauce. The dish presents a new way to enjoy tofu with all the components of crunch and flavor on one plate.
The interior of Hung Won. B. COLLINS PHOTO
If you’re looking for something more traditional, however, Hung Won also cooks up more authentic dishes. In Chinese culture, noodles stand for long life, while eggs represent fruitfulness. A dish that pairs these two is sure to be a winning combination. Enter Braised E-Mein with Crab Meat ($13.95). Lumps of real crab are tossed in an egg-white gravy and cooked over a steamy helping of stir-fried egg noodles, black mushrooms and snow peas.
With each bite of delicious Cantonese-style fare and every kind smile from the accommodating staff at Hung Won Seafood Restaurant, it’s easy to see why the business is still around, and it’s safe to say that it’s here to stay.