National Chopsticks Day seems to be a designated day to encourage eating Asian food. However, while you can still eat French fries with them, they are more closely associated with noodle and rice dishes. So here are a few spots where you can try to practice your skills at picking up food with some chopsticks.
Yi Xin Cafe
Chinese food seems to be top-of-mind when it comes to eating with chopsticks, and Yi Xin Cafe offers a wide variety of Cantonese dishes, as well as other flavors from Southeast Asia.
Whether it be beef with bittermelon showcasing savory tender slices of meat and mildly sharp bittermelon coated with a savory black bean gravy, Hong Kong-style garlic prawns with crispy bits of fried garlic, fragrant nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice), or slurp-worthy won ton noodle soup, there are many chances use those skinny sticks to fatten you up. Be sure to consider the salted egg yolk crab which is mostly eaten by hand, but the chopsticks come in handy to poke out the sweet Dungeness meat.
Yi Xin Cafe >> Get a special offer!
Location : 2919 Kapiolani Blvd. #218 (in Market City Shopping Center), B.Y.O.B
Phone : (808) 738-0818
Hours : 10:30am – 9pm (Wed – Mon)
Bario Ramen offers ramen in a flavorful and rich tonkotsu (pork bone-based) broth boiled for over 20 hours to extract all the flavor from the bones. The ramen shop offers three different types of noodles based on the type of ramen ordered, so you can test your skills at pulling strands of different thicknesses.
However, no matter what ramen you choose to order, they are all spectacular, including a lavish garlic tonkotsu soup scented with soy in the original ramen, a limited edition tonkotsu ramen with black garlic-scented soup made just for Hawaii, a tsukemen (dipped noodle) featuring an intense-flavored broth, or spicy renditions of the aforementioned ramen. And if the noodles did not provide enough exercise for you, there are orders of fried gyoza, fried chicken karaage, and fatty slices of char siu to order as accompaniments.
Bario Ramen >> Get a special offer!
Waikiki Location: STIX ASIA Waikiki
2250 Kalakaua Ave. LL100
Hours: 11am-10pm daily
Ala Moana Lacation: Ala Moana Center 1F
Makai Market Food Court, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Hours: 11am – 8pm daily
One of Honolulu’s newest sushi restaurants is Sushi Gyoshin, an intimate 7-seat counter close to Ala Moana Center.
The $150 omakase is a splendid deal, featuring 16 courses consisting of appetizers, sashimi, yakimono (grilled dish), sushi, and soup. Chef Hiroshi Tsuji brings over 27 years of experience in crafting exquisite washoku (Japanese cuisine), and with that a discerning sense of quality in his sushi, from the rice ball to the topping and every other part of the sushi experience.
While some argue that sushi tastes best when eaten with the hands, there are a few dishes that require the use of chopsticks, such as the snow crab and ikura mini donburi and the steamed abalone with a rich sauce incorporating the liver. The restaurant just opened and is already booked about a month in advance to book early and use the waiting time to stretch your finger muscles.
436 Piikoi Street Suite A, Honolulu, HI (entrance next to Honolulu Sushi)
Phone: (808) 835-7097
Business hours: Mon-Sat, 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Hawaii Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant
One of the newer dim sum spots in town is Hawaii Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant, located in Chinatown in Honolulu. Featuring a roster of traditional favorites, such as steamed or baked char siu buns, siu mai, look funn noodles, mochi rice in lotus leaf, deep fried taro, har gau shrimp dumplings, and steamed bean curd roll, one’s table is quickly covered in bamboo steamer baskets.
Each basket ranges from about $5.45 to $6.45, making it easy to overorder the incredibly savory dumplings. Fried noodles and rice add more carb-laden temptation so bring a lot of friends, especially those who know how to use chopsticks.
Hawaii Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant
111 North King Street, Honolulu, HI
Phone: (808) 888-2823
Business hours: Thu-Tue, 8:00am – 9:00pm (closed Wed)
A hot local style izakaya (Japanese pub) fashions a menu that is inspired by the flavors of the islands. Chef Jason Peel draws from his multi-faceted background growing up in Hawaii and presents bold flavors for both brunch/lunch and dinner. Among the brunch/lunch menu items is a grilled Romaine Caesar that is a must order but is also as equally tempting as the shrimp toast Benedict inspired by the classic Singaporean dish and the mentaiko cream omelette which features a Chinese-style steamed egg in lieu of a silky scramble. And it is odd, but Hawaii people swear that salads taste better when eaten with chopsticks, and they are right.
1135 North Nimitz Highway, Honolulu, HI
Phone: (808) 888-6264
Wed-Fri, 10:30am – 1:30pm, 4:30 – 8:30pm; Sat & Sun, 9:00am – 1:30pm, 4:30 – 8:30pm
These are some amazing restaurants that proudly serve dishes worthy of the use of chopsticks. If you are not that proficient in the skill, consider it a good way to diet or at least an effective method to help slow down your food intake.