Good food, fortune abound

A La Carte

January 14, 2018

Story By: Phoebe Neel | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Jai ($8.95)

Thought you were done with the holidays?

Think again! Chinese New Year is coming up Feb. 16, and Golden Palace Seafood Restaurant is busy preparing scores of tempting, traditional treats to celebrate the Year of the Dog.

Jin Dui ($2.69 for three pieces)

While general manager Gary Lam is currently dreaming up a secret New Year’s menu, he points to Stuffed Duck ($35), Jai ($8.95) and plump Jin Dui ($2.69 for three pieces) as culturally significant celebratory favorites. The Stuffed Duck dish is an impressive, party-sized entree featuring duck filled with barley, gingko nuts, ham and shiitake mushrooms.

Golden Palace also will be making Gau ($4.25 and up, depending on size), a mochi favorite that features sesame seeds, dates and brown sugar, special for the holiday.

Gau ($4.25 and up, depending on size)

“Many people recognize the traditional Chinese New Year food, but they don’t necessarily realize why it’s special,” notes Lam. “Many ingredients symbolize aspects of good fortune based on their appearance or the sound of their name.” For instance, Jai includes long rice noodles, which symbolize long life, while the included gingko nuts symbolize many children, because the words sound similar in Chinese. The dish’s carrots and baby corn are shaped like the golden bars used as currency in Chinese yesteryear, and so have come to represent prosperity.

Stuffed Duck ($35)

Lam also dropped a few insider tips about the best time to celebrate the new year in Chinatown. Starting Feb. 9, the neighborhood will come alive at night with fire-crackers, dancing and more. No need to be crushed by the crowd, though — with a reservation at Golden Palace, the party comes to you! The lion dancers, as well as the Miss Chinatown pageant winners, will come into the restaurant to greet diners and pay their respects. The next day, at the “Night in Chinatown” event Feb. 10, the Narcissus Queens will then take their turn through Golden Palace and be available for photographs.

So, if you’ve come down with a case of the post-holiday blues, never fear: the revelry continues, and Golden Palace will be there in the middle of it all, serving up delicious culture-steeped eats.

Honolulu, HI 96817

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Hawaii's Best