Diner A and his ohana stopped by the new Chun Wah Kam Noodle Factory restaurant outlet in Kapolei this past Saturday for lunch, and while there captured a few photos of the establishment and food. Since they were taken with his cell phone, they aren’t going to make the cover of Honolulu Advertiser’s Dining Out section anytime soon, but at least you get a glimpse of what the new place looks like, in case you haven’t had the opportunity to make it out there yet.
The way the system works here is you pull a number, then when you’re called, one of the customer service staff walks you down the entree selection counter and serves your plate as you point and choose what you want. That same person handles each ticket in its entirety, so if you have a party of 2 or more, that person will handle their order as well, and ring everything up together.
Because there’s so many entrees to choose from, he says it’s best if you first scope everything out by taking a preview walk down the serving counter (like that man in the gray shirt is doing) before standing in line to order. This way you get a head start on what there is (and how it looks) and what you (might) want. Then you go and pull your number and wait there to be called.
OK, looking at this photo, you see just one item (which is steamed lup cheong rice) has a (handwritten) sign on it. Now take notice that all the other items DO NOT HAVE SIGNS telling you what each dish is. So every dish you see, if you don’t recognize it, you must ask your server what it is. That was his biggest peeve and frustration about their system.
Hopefully with them being new, they’re just still working out the details and haven’t gotten to this one yet. All they gotta’ do is generate small, yet descriptive signs using their administrative PC and a laser jet printer and stick them in (replaceable) clear sleeves attached to the front of the display window where it’s visible to the customer. How hard is that?
Shoot, I’d be peeved too. Especially when there’s that many items, and in some cases, when side-by-side make look identical, but aren’t.
Take manapua, where its filling is concealed…
OK, I see that’s baked manapua, but what’s in it?
Dear Mr. Kam, please make signs for your food selections at your new restaurant in Kapolei. Mahalo!
Anyway, off we continue on our guess-n-assume journey of what there is to eat at the Chun Wah Kam Kapolei….
OK, I can tell those fat noodles are Udon, combined with luncheon meat and green onions. The noodles to the right are fried saimin noodles. That’s the starch Diner A chose.
More views around the restaurant…
Notice the contemporary architectural fixtures and interior design.
There’s no shortage of ovens like this to pump out dozens and dozens of boxes upon boxes of fresh-baked Manapua…
To order, you can either choose a mini entree plate for $6.50, a single entree plate for $7.75, which includes a starch and 1 entree. Or you can order the 2-entree plate for $9.25 which includes 1 starch and 2 entrees.
Or, if you really wanna’ mix it up, for those same prices, you can divide each item into half-portions. So for instance, what you can do with the one-entree plate for $7.75 is get a half-portion of Chow Funn, along with a half-portion of Fried Rice; then for the entree you can choose, say, a half-portion Beef Broccoli along with a half-portion of Sweet and Sour Shrimp. Therefore effectively turning that example one-entree plate into a total “4-choice plate”.
Same math for the 2-entree plate, which also includes 1 or any combination of starch. So for this one you can get, say, a half-portion Chow Mein, and a half-portion White Rice for the starch, then for the entree get a half-portion Beef Choi Sum, half-portion Charsiu Pork, half-portion Lemon Chicken and half-portion Ginger Chicken, effectively doubling all the choices to six. Sweet. Not just Taco Town sweet, but Combo #5 sweet!
The Manapua and various Dim Sum can be added to your plate, but those items will be added to the price ala carte per piece; you can’t substitute them for the regular entree items. Darned it.
Here in all its camera phone glory is Diner A’s 2 entree-turned-4 entree (plus 1 starch) plate from Chun Wah Kam Kapolei…
That’s Shoyu Chicken on the very top, with the two deep-fried ball-shaped items above and below the Charsiu Pork being deep-fried Pork Hash and Garlic Fish to the right, with an order Fried Saimin for starch.
His phone camera takes amazing macros…
Seriously though, he raved about the deep-fried Pork Hash, saying he could eat entire plate of just that. Wow, must be really ono! Everything else on his plate was a winner as well, earning an overall 3-SPAM Musubi rating.
But is Mr. Kam getting trade secrets from Mr. Libby on the current market conditions for Manapua?…
Wow Laulau! Where’s da’ Beef!? …errrr… Charsiu?! For $1.50 each, we want more charsiu! We want more charsiu! We want more charsiu! They’re gonna’ have to join the “Manapua Buns” club along with Libby’s. lol
What looks rather enticing for you budget-busting party planners out there is this featured prix fixe catering selection called the the “House Special Set Menu”, which includes: Beef Broccoli, Sweet Sour Spareribs, Oyster Sauce Chicken, Chow Mein Noodle, Crispy Kau Gee and White Rice for just $7.35/person for 20-200 people, $6.85/person for 201-400 people and $6.75/person for 401 people or more. That’s a very good deal in today’s market as far as catering is concerned.
The new Chun Wah Kam Noodle Factory restaurant opened for business on December 16, 2008 (according to staff). They’re located in the also new Crossroads at Kapolei Shopping Center, serving as anchor tenant along with neighbor Simply Organized, a new concept “fashion-forward” organization and storage specialty retailer.
Chun Wah Kam Noodle Factory (New!)
in the (also new!) Crossroads at Kapolei Center (adjacent to Simply Organized)
885 Kamokila Blvd
Kapolei, HI 96707
www.ChunWahKam.com (<—see entire menu there)
One last note on the Crossroads at Kapolei: also slated to open there will be a Teddy’s Bigger Burgers. Yay!
Here’s a baked Manapua Diner A picked up from the Chun Wah Kam in Kapolei on a subsequent visit since the first time shown previously…
Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout! Choke Charsiu, baby! Ono, da Charsiu too. Flavorful, moist and authentic, without being strange or weird-tasting. As good as local style Manapua Charsiu filling gets. Nice and bold red color too.