When I first heard about this place from Anna’s brother John, I immediately thought of The Boiling Crab. I haven’t even been there but just assumed every dish was lobster. Well, I was a bit off with this thought although lobster does place a role. They have a special where if you buy one entree you get a lobster for $10.99.
Besides the lobster special, this place is a typical Cantonese style Chinese restaurant. John really liked this place which opened July last year and wanted to treat the family to dinner. So off we went. I was told by Anna’s Popo that this location has forever changed hands and nothing seems to succeed in the spot with the last business being a bar. But there have been lineups ever since Lobster King opened. So maybe the luck is changing?
Parking is plentiful as the restaurant seems to have a deal to use an adjoining parking lot. There were a couple of parking attendants (I think they were) watching to see that only people (my guess) going to the restaurant parked in the lot. We were a table of 7 adults, one toddler and a baby and were seated right away.
John said each of us could order any dish we liked. We’d then get a lobster as per the special. This was definitely a different a way of ordering for me. I’m usually looking to see if I got a good balance between veggies, meat, and seafood. And try to make sure we got flavors covered – sweet, spicy, salty, etc. But hey, when I saw Kau Yuk on the menu, I had my selection!
We did end up adjusting our ordering a bit because we did miss a veggie dish. And the waiter thought we had too many lobsters. In the end, we didn’t order a specific vegetable dish which we probably should have.
The food came out all together and literally felt like it took less than 10 minutes from ordering to table. Crazy.
Well, maybe the quickness of it all can be partially explained by the fact that the cooks skipped steps on some of the dishes. Take the deep fried squid as an example. I think they forgot the fry step when making the deep fried squid. The squid seemed cooked but the batter was….still batter! Undercooked. Not deep fried properly. My father-in-law noticed this as well. We decided to return this dish and ordered a fish fillet in sweet and sour sauce.
The stir-fried clams with black bean sauce was ok.
The braised pork belly with taro was heavy on the pork and not much taro. Taste-wise it was decent although John said he would have liked it a bit sweeter. I could see what he meant.
Sweet and sour pork was good – decent flavor and most pieces had good balance between batter and pork.
Chow mein was nothing special.
Popo’s choice was Pei Pa tofu over spinach and it was neither here or there for me.
The three lobsters were ginger and green onion, black bean sauce, and specialty sauce (spicy). Basically the only choices they offered! Sauces weren’t that great. If I was to rank them, it would be black bean first, ginger and green onion second, and the specialty sauce distant third. All three were overcooked. I’m guessing each lobster was about 1-1.5 lbs in size.
We were almost done eating when I realized that the fried fillet with sweet and sour sauce hadn’t arrived. We had to ask before they finally brought it out. I think everyone was pretty full at that point so what we should have done is just cancelled the squid order instead of ordering a replacement dish. The fish wasn’t so good either.
Dessert was almond tofu and it was yuck. I couldn’t eat it.
By the time we left the place was hopping. I think we got lucky coming a bit earlier. My brother-in-law might have also made a reservation.
I was told that the place is owned by a Korean woman and a Chinese man. The Korean owner came by our table to ask us how everything was. Here she is talking to another table.
Overall, by Honolulu standards, this place is decent. I’d come back but probably wouldn’t order the lobster special or at least it wouldn’t drive my decision making on menu selections. Location wise it was great since we were staying down in Waikiki so close by.
Thanks Uncle John for making us aware of this place!
1380 South King Street