More noodles to nosh onA La Carte
October 20, 2019
Story By: Brandon Bosworth | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
When it comes to noodles, Honolulu has more than its share of ramen and saimin joints. But what if you want something a little different?
Joy Cup Noodles Mean specializes in Chinese-style noodle dishes. “To our knowledge, we are the only authentic Chongqing Sichuan restaurant in Hawaii,” says co-owner Lulu Luo. “All of our menu items are homemade in house, including our noodles, with exception to the kid’s macaroni and cheese.”
Born and raised in China, Luo comes from a long line of chefs. All the recipes Joy Cup Noodle Mean uses were created and perfected by her mother, whose family ran a restaurant in China for many years. Luo continues to enjoy researching food and cooking methods for keeping and making it healthier for today’s health conscious customers, yet keeping the same traditional taste and flavors.
One classic dish is Dan Dan Noodles ($13.99). Ground pork is prepared with secret spices (courtesy of Luo’s grandmother) and skillet-fried to perfection. It is then served over fresh homemade noodles resting in a small amount of homemade bone soup with spices.
Waipo’s (grandmother’s) secret spices also help flavor the Beef Noodles ($13.99). Spiced, sliced chuck beef is stir-fried and served over noodles resting in homemade beef bone soup with various daily vegetables on top.
Craving something cool on a hot day? Try the Cold Sesame Noodles ($9.99). Freshly cooked noodles are cooled and served with a tasty mix of traditional Sichuan spices including handmade sesame butter.
Something you don’t see on many menus is Couples Lung aka Fuqi Feipian ($10.99). “No, it’s not made from lungs,” Luo says. “It’s an original Chengdu favorite dating back to the early 1930s that consists of thinly sliced beef tongue, tripe, calf and pig ears mixed with our own secret Sichuan chili sauce recipe.”
All dishes are offered with a Sichuan chili spice heat level of one through 10. Level two is similar to a jalapeno pepper.
Luo makes her family’s own Chongqing Sichuan chili Spice oil, so the spice intensity may vary a bit from time to time.
“The majority of Sichuan style restaurants make their dishes using the chef’s own level of spice, which is typically very hot,” Luo says. “We believe that our customers are No. 1, and thus they can choose their own spice level.” If 10 on the spice scale isn’t hot enough, Luo can help. “We can boost the heat to about 5 million Scoville by adding pure Carolina Reaper extract to her homemade chili oil.”