Archive for September 24th, 2010

Daikon On My Mind

Sorry, the title sounds like a Ray Charles song. Sometimes, I’ll get into a rut and eat something until I’m tired of it. This must be the case with daikon (see previous post). I was running errands yesterday and it got to be around lunch time. I headed over here.

Chan's Gourmet Buffet


It wasn’t until I got here that I realized why I came here. It was for their stewed daikon.

Stewed Daikon

A little back story. Chan’s restaurant used to be located in Puck’s Alley near the University of Hawaii. They were known for preparing Chinese dishes (mostly Cantonese) that normally was not on typical chop suey house menus. When the economy took a downturn (not this current one, but the previous one). The restaurant switched to a buffet format. I thought they were one of the first Chinese buffets in Hawaii (don’t quote me, I could be wrong). The restaurant opened a second location in what is now their current location (confused, sorry). For whatever reason, the university location closed. As the economy got better, the owners opened Little Village on the fringes of Chinatown. You can read more in the owners own words here: http://www.littlevillagehawaii.com/. I heard that either the employees of Chan’s or relatives of the owners bought Chan’s Gourmet Buffet and are running it separately.

Okay, back to the food. Currently, the lunch buffet is priced just below ten dollars. There are some dishes that we (The Cat and myself) thought are done decently (the aforementioned stewed daikon for one). A sample of the other dishes for that day include:

Stewed Pumpkin

Steamed Taro

Spicy Garlic Eggplant

Vegetable Egg Fu Yong

Corned Beef and Cabbage

The last dish comes from the O’Chan side of the family (just kidding).

The restaurant also has deep-fried smelt.

Deep-Fried Smelt

The deep-fried smelt is probably not too good (health-wise), but I’m thinking that the omega-3 benefits offset the deep frying (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). 😉

The restaurant also makes vegetable fried rice.

Vegetable Fried Rice

The vegetable fried rice is not bad. I’ve had better and I’ve had worse.

Here’s a sample of my choices.

Stewed Daikon, Stewed Pumpkin, Steamed Taro, Broccoli, Teri Chicken, Vegetable Egg Fu Yong, and Deep-Fried Smelt

Other choices included mashed potatoes and gravy, hamburger steak, roast chicken, fried chicken, assorted makizushi, tossed salad, etc. If you follow Yelp, the reviews lean toward the lower end of the spectrum. Considering the price and choices, I feel the “gourmet” part of the restaurant is questionable, but “it is what it is”.

One more thing, it appears that the restaurant has a contract with tour companies to feed its passengers. A tour bus will pull up, and the customers belonging to the tour company will wipe out the buffet line. The restaurant staff is good about replenishing the food. The tour bus leaves and another wave comes in. Understandable since the tourist have a limited time to eat. regular patrons have to be patient and time their visits to the buffet line in-between tour waves, kind of like surfing. 🙂

The Human Wave

The Calm Before the Next Wave

On a related note, guess what I made for dinner last night. Yep, the other half of the daikon steaks.

Daikon Steaks, The Sequel

Told you, had daikon on my mind. That’s okay, The Cat said daikon is “poor people’s ginseng.” She said daikon is supposed to be very healthy.

On another note, the Blue Angels were practicing for this weekend’s air show out at Kaneohe Marine Corp Base just as I got home.

Blue Angels Practice Flight 1

Blue Angles Practice Flight 2

The second picture looks more like those UFO pictures, they were moving too fast for the camera to focus. 😦 I think that’s the diamond pattern. Anyway, it was exciting to hear and see them fly by.

It’s Friday! have a good weekend.


The Mouse

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