Chinee like me: Dim sum at Yee Hong Pavilion

Share Button

Chinese New Year is on February 10, but Honolulu starts celebrating this weekend with lion dances, the big Choy Cheng event, Night in Chinatown, and the big Cultural Plaza festival. It is the one time of year that I eat gin dui — always the salty one, leaving the coconut ones for the non-Chinese — because as a Chinese food snob, I only eat it fresh, and only the ones with the paper-thin walls.

Chinese or not, you’re probably going to be in Chinatown sometime in the next few weeks, and you may want to sit down for a nice dim sum lunch. There are many places to choose from, all decent: Mei Sum, Legends, Fook Lam, the new Empress. But I thought I’d show you how dim sum went at the (relatively) newer Yee Hong Pavilion, which recently served as the spot for chef Will Chen’s (@WillChen79) introduction to the Hawaii Chinese Dinner Society (@HICDS). Since most of you have already had dim sum, I don’t need to do close-ups of the food to show you what it is — I’ll just show you how we eat.

Dim sum at Yee Hong

Picture 1 of 16

Will Chen, who is the executive chef at Beach House at the Moana, recently requested membership in the Secret Chinese Dinner Society. To prove his legitimacy as a Chinee diner, he suggested dim sum at Yee Hong Pavilion. The dim sum chef is from the old Panda Cuisine on Keeaumoku Street, so it had to be good.

Yee Hong Pavilion
100 N. Beretania St. (Chinese Cultural Plaza)

Oh, and that dessert at the end? Will was wondering about it, too, but he speaks Chinese, so he asked the waitress what that über-traditional dessert was. Here’s what the waitress told him:

Bonus video: After dim sum lunch, Danny from Wang Chung’s wanted to show me and Jennifer a place called Sung Huong, which makes some Vietnamese dishes rarely seen in restaurants here because they’re such a pain in the butt to make. You see, Danny and Jennifer are Chinese, but their families are ethnic Chinese from Vietnam. So although they speak Chinese and know how to eat Chinese food, they have a Vietnamese side to them, as well. Here are the two things we ate, plus Danny’s little jingle for the restaurant:

20 comments
lihinggirl
lihinggirl

*drool* chicken feet! *drool* tripe! i prefer salty gin dui too. sometimes i will eat the red bean ones. my popo once made sweet potato/yam-filled gin dui. maybe i'll bump into some of you tomorrow (saturday) during the various festivities in chinatown. enjoy the eats, entertainment, and good times w/ your friends/family! =) an early "gongxi fa cai! xin nian kuai le" to everyone! 

Amy1
Amy1

That egg puff is Chinese cream puff dough they use and deep fried instead of baked.  I use to make for family.

bettydalycity
bettydalycity

Melissa,

Everytime I in the tea house for dim sum I miss out of the one I live to get for push cart reach me almost to the end which flavorite gone.  They told more will come out soon and again by the time at my table gone waaaa.  Now on just order from kitchen by telling waitperson to do so.  I like push cart but it does not like me.

M
M

Hello Melissa!

I always wanted to try there. Chinee NewYear brings back a lot of good memories. I my younger days I was part of the Lung Kong Physical Cultural club and performed the Lion dance and Kung Fu demonstrations all over the islands. Just hearing the drum beats gives me goose bumps. Do you know each club has their own drum beat? Just from hearing the drum beat in the distance over the others I can recongnize my former club even today.

BixbyHo
BixbyHo

Don't forget folks, despite the Punahou Carnival apologies to @anotherplate808 but we got First Friday and Night in Chinatown starting tonight at a little after 5:00 p.m. please plan accordingly! There will be road closures in town!

Annoddah_Dave
Annoddah_Dave

Delicate Blossom:  Gee, it has been quite awhile since the last Chinese Secret Dinner Society meeting.  Been meaning to try this place...thanks.  I cracked up about the dessert dim sum...Mah Lah Sah Dah!  I presume the Vietnamese place is down from Oahu Market where there used to be a Chinese Roast Pork place.

jlieu
jlieu

Aww good times! I miss it but will be celebrating this weekend and then the next! Happy early Chinese New Year everyone! Wishing you good health and wealth - oh yes and happiness! :D

gyee
gyee

We went for Ma La Sa Da during the week and found that they only serve that specialty on weekends. We went for a late lunch about 1:15pm,  They told us to order quickly because dim sum is not served after 2pm.

BixbyHo
BixbyHo

@hicds does it again! Dim-sum style!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @M oh wow! That's a big one. I did hear that each club has its own beat, but I'm so uneducated that I cannot tell the difference. how do I tell? Is it easy and I am just not trained?

Amy1
Amy1

 @M My family belonged to Lung Kong and brothers use to beat drum during New Year.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @Annoddah_Dave yup, I actually have a ton of Chinese Society blogs backed up on file, but am so behind in my entries. Most people don't know this, but it takes hours to compile one blog post, so I have to just grab at whatever is most time-sensitive and go with that. I'm getting to the rest of them, though. Slowly but surely.

BixbyHo
BixbyHo

Kung Xi Fa Tsai to you and your family @jlieu ! Good health, Much prosperity, and most importantly good eats!

bettydalycity
bettydalycity

 @Melissa808  @bettydalycity 

Well it steamed meatballs.  Every time in tea house waited for push cart to come by my table my favorite gone all out.  Waited again and same thing so from now on order ahead from waitperson.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @bettydalycity oh! I always see that in the cart. But some places make it better than others...