Restaurant celebrates Chinese New Year with specialty dishes

A La Carte

February 11, 2018

Story By: Yu Shing Ting |

Jai (vegetarian; $10.99 on special during February)

Kung Hee Fat Choy! Canton Seafood Restaurant in Honolulu celebrates Chinese New Year (Feb. 16) with some special offers, as well as a unique party menu for the holiday.

Jai, which is a vegetarian dish available year-round at the eatery, but is especially popular during Chinese New Year, is on special for $10.99 through the end of February (regular price $11.99). The dish is made with more than 10 ingredients, including snow peas, bean curd, black mushroom, carrots, bamboo shoot, won bok, tofu, black fungus, broccoli, straw mushroom and long rice noodles.

Deep Fried Flounder with Lemon Grass ($11.99 on special)

“All the ingredients have a good-luck meaning,” notes manager Henry Gong. “The bean curd represents prosperity, tofu for wealth and the long rice for long life.”

Gong also suggests Deep Fried Flounder with Lemon Grass, which is on special for $11.99 (whole fish, regular price $15.99). “The fish represents continued wealth into the new year,” he explains. “And you want the whole fish, from head to tail, for the whole year, from beginning to end.”

(Both the Jai and Fried Flounder also are available at Canton Seafood Restaurant’s sister takeout restaurant, Hoy Tin Kitchen, in Kalihi.)

Live Lobster, a Canton Seafood Restaurant customer favorite, also is on special for $14.99 with the order of a regular entree (regular price $19.99). Choose to have it prepared with ginger and green onion, salt and pepper, black bean sauce, or steamed with butter and garlic; and served with look funn or e-mein noodles.

Live Lobster with Butter and Garlic ($14.99 on special with purchase of regular entree)

“The lobster is always moving around, so it represents good health and more energy in the new year,” adds Gong.

Canton Seafood also has created a special 10-course menu for Chinese New Year ($268, for 10-12 people, available through March), featuring a variety of symbolic good-luck dishes. On the menu are Jelly Fish; Pork Chop and Vegetable Egg Roll Platter; Seafood Fish Maw Soup; Whole House Special Chicken; Lobster; Jai; Fungus with Snow Peas, Celery and Lap Cheong; Whole Fresh Uhu; Black Mushroom Abalone with Chinese Baby Bok Choy; Seafood Fried Rice; and your choice of Red Bean Soup or Almond Tofu for dessert.

“Chickens crow very early in the morning, so the chicken represents good news for the new year,” explains Gong. “The black mushroom looks like old Chinese money, so it means you will have a lot of money coming. Also, the dessert is sweet so it symbolizes happiness for the year.”

There also are other party menu options ranging in price from $188 to $388.

Located at 923 Keeaumoku St. near Ala Moana Center, Canton Seafood Restaurant opened in 2011. The eatery serves authentic Hong Kong-style Chinese cuisine with an extensive menu of more than 153 items, plus lunch specials daily ($7.99-$8.99, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.).

There also is a full bar, including Chinese liquor such as MouTai and Kao Liang Chiew.

“We have a good environment — clean and comfortable,” says Gong. “Also, our food is healthy because we use less oil and less salt, and customers can request for no MSG. Chef always chooses good-quality food, meat and vegetables , and our prices are very reasonable.”

Honolulu, HI 96814

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