Mo'ili'ili Eats: Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant

While many of you may have celebrated Mother’s Day dining out or throwing a beach picnic with the ohana, my mom wanted to just kick back at home and relax with some good Chinese takeout. For that, Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant is one of her favorites, where the Cantonese dishes are all really tasty and very reasonably priced. Best of all, everything’s cooked to order, so the food is always sent out piping hot ‘n fresh out of the wok.

I went to go pick-up the food just after noon on Sunday and it was slow in the relatively small dining room, so after walking in and placing the order, it only took about 15 minutes and I was off with the goods.

I must note that, like most Chinese restaurants, Golden Dynasty’s menu is HUGE. Download the PDF here and check it out for yourself. All the usual suspects are there, including Abalone Soup, Sweet & Sour Shrimp, Roast Duck, Cold Ginger Chicken, Lemon Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork, Beef Broccoli, Egg Fu Yung and Crispy Gau Gee, just to name a very few! In total there are 183 menu items to choose, so good luck making a decision!

One “Yelper” says their favorite dishes are the Honey Walnut Shrimp, Chicken Corn Soup, Salt & Pepper Shrimp, Butterfish and Shrimp with Chinese Peas.  I’ll certainly have to take them up next time on that Honey Walnut Shrimp! I also wanna’ try the Eggplant with House Specialty Sauce, as I love Eggplant. The Twin Mushroom with Dry Scallop Sauce sounds intriguing as well.

Getting to our Mother’s Day Chinese takeout feast, mom’s #1 choice was the Lemon Chicken…

Golden Dynasty – Lemon Chicken. $6.75/order (2 orders shown in plate)

Which is interesting that she chooses Lemon Chicken, as, like me, usually she’s totally not a chicken fan. Yet Golden Dynasty is so good at making this dish, that she always orders it.

She also really likes their Sweet & Sour Pork Spare Ribs…

Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – Sweet and Sour Pork Spare Ribs. $6.50/order (1 order shown)

Here’s the Spare Ribs transferred to a plate…

Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – Sweet and Sour Pork Spare Ribs. $6.50/order (1 order shown)

My Aunt likes their Pork with Bitter Melon, so I got a couple orders of that…

Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – Pork with Bitter Melon. $6.75/order (two orders shown)

One of my sister’s favorite Chinese dishes is Sweet & Sour Shrimp, so I got one of those for her…

Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – Shrimp Ala Canton (Sweet & Sour Shrimp). $8.95/order (one order shown)

Thankfully the lady at Golden Dynasty knows how takeout should be served, not pouring the Sweet & Sour Sauce on the shrimp, but sending it out in a separate container so that the customer can pour it on themselves at time of service for maximum crispness. With that, here it is all sauced up…

Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – Shrimp Ala Canton (Sweet & Sour Shrimp). $8.95/order (one order shown)

My pick of the day was Beef Broccoli…

Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – Beef with Broccoli. $6.75/order (two orders shown)

Finally, for starch, mom’s favorite dish from here is their Gon Lau Mein noodles…

Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – Gon Lau Mein. $6.75/order (one order shown, with another beneath it)

You know what I forgot, though? The Crispy Gau Gee! Darned it. Here’s a plate of them being made before hitting the fryer…

Ah, shucks. Well, we already have more food than we can eat between the small gathering of five of us for our little Mother’s Day celebration, so we’re all good.

With most of it being double orders, that entire Chinese spread there came out to just $71. Good deal, as there was easily enough leftovers for each of us to make a complete plate for later snack’n.

Yeah, we could have transferred it into nicer serving platters, but who wants to do dishes after? Not me! My mom’s the type that doesn’t need all that either. Simpler the better is her train of thought.

Here’s a few plates that rolled out…

Everything looks ono! So how is it?

The Lemon Chicken is incredibly tender. I don’t know how they do it, but it just melts in your mouth! It’s not real “lemon-ee”, but just has a hint of tang to it, while being more sweet and very savory. This is by far the best Lemon Chicken I’ve had yet and I highly recommend you order this dish if you’re looking for some good Chinese style chicken. 5 SPAM Musubi.

The Sweet and Sour Pork Spare Ribs are also fantastic, being fall-off-the-cartilage tender with a familiar sweet and sour sauce flavor. Nothing unusual or full of surprises. Just the way good Chinese Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs should taste. It’s not swimming in sauce, but has just enough of it to keep it moist. Winner. 4 SPAM Musubi.

The Pork with Bitter Melon is probably the most acquired taste dish in this spread, but I like Bitter Melon, so this works great for me. The only thing I thought it could use was a little sugar in the gravy, as it really took on the bitterness of the Bitter Melon. I would have preferred if the Bitter Melon was bitter on its own, while the sauce had sweetness to counter it. So all-in-all, it was a little “harsh” on the palate if you will. Still delicious though. And the pork was super tender. If you’re a Bitter Melon (Goya) fan, you should consider this dish. You can also get it with beef if you don’t care for or eat pork. 3 SPAM Musubi.

The Shrimp Ala Canton (Sweet and Sour Shrimp) was another winner, winner, Mother’s Day Chinese Takeout Dinner affair for sure! Err, lunch that is. That and the Lemon Chicken were by far my two favorite dishes here. The batter was fluffy, yet crispy, while the Sweet and Sour sauce tasted great and really brought out the flavor of the fresh, flavorful, sweet and tender shrimp tails. I seriously could have whacked that entire plate of Shrimp Ala Canton myself if given the opportunity. Another highly recommended dish! 5 SPAM Musubi.

The Beef Broccoli was decent, but not the best I’ve ever had. The Broccoli was cooked to perfection, and so was the beef, which, again I don’t know how them Chinese do it, but it was melting-apart tender! Is there some “ancient Chinese secret” going on here? If you know how Chinese make their chicken and beef so tender, please share with us in a comment! I want in on that. But anyhow, the only problem I had with it was the gravy/sauce, which just didn’t have that “wow” factor. Perhaps just a pinch of sugar or salt may have done it. I’ll go 3 SPAM Musubi, with room to improve.

The Gon Lau Mein was “a-aight”. Just “a-aight”. Then again, I’m not really into Chinese noodles of the dry variety like this, so who am I to judge? Sorry all you Pakes out there. Mom loves it though, and so did everyone else. I must say, it’s certainly a meal in itself, with plenty of cabbage, onions and carrots and strips of pork mixed in it. Safe to say, they all gave it 3 SPAM Musubi.

Again, I really wish I got some Crispy Gaugee, which for me puts the bookend on Chinese food. That, and a duck egg, along with da’ Shoyu/Coleman’s Mustard sauce for dippin’ and I’m set! You know da’ rules, baby!

Still, with what we had, the meal was absolutely fantastic, and part of a great lazy Sunday afternoon spending time with my awesome mom who I love very dearly.

For dessert, I picked up a Pumpkin Haupia Pie from Foodland Farms in Aina Haina Shopping Center…

It says $10.99 on the label, but it was on “sale” for $9.99.

Let’s try a slice…

How was it? Very good, yet there’s room for improvement. First of all, the Haupia layer is too thin. It should be half Haupia, half Pumpkin. As you can see, it’s three-fourth Pumpkin to one-fourth Haupia ratio, which as you can guess, the stronger cinnamon-laced Pumpkin filling overrides the more subtle creamy coconut flavor of the Haupia. Also, the crust was soggy. I like my pie crust crunchy and nutty. While this can’t beat Ted’s take on Pumpkin Haupia Pie, which meets the aforementioned criteria, it was still delicious and worthy of 3 SPAM Musubi.

Getting back to Golden Dynasty, here’s where they’re located in University Square…

Aptly named, University Square is on the Diamond Head-Makai corner of King and University avenue, across from Puck’s Alley.

If you want to dine-in, Golden Dynasty has a small capacity dine-in area with about five or six tables, with the cashier doing double duty as waitress, while three cooks man the kitchen.

Dine-in or takeout, if you’re looking for really tasty, cooked-to-order and easy-on-the-wallet Cantonese style Chinese eats, Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant is a great choice!

Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant
2615 S. King Street, Suite 108
Honolulu, Hawaii  96826

Tel. (808) 955-1067

Menu (2 page legal-size PDF document; 237k)

Business hours:
10am to 9pm daily

The Tasty Island rating:

(4) Excellent. Worth another visit or purchase. (Winnahz!)

Related links:
Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – ‘Ono Kine Grindz
Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant – Yelp user reviews


19 thoughts on “Mo'ili'ili Eats: Golden Dynasty Chinese Restaurant

  1. “Marinate” the chopped beef or chicken in baking soda for about 10 minutes, then rinse well. Continue with your recipe, lowering or minimizing the salt (to taste). Comes out really tender!

  2. Some Chinese restaurants soak their beef in baking soda to tenderize it. I personally like the taste of “real” meat instead of the spongy texture. Keep up the writing – coming over to the 808 next week and look forward to trying some of your faves:Aiea Bowl and Soon’s Kalbi…

  3. Pomai, my sisters and I cooked on Mother Day due to mom like lay back day at home with family like your mom. We went out a few days ahead to Mother Day Meal not busy which she enjoyed very well.

    Yes some restaurant soak beef slice in baking soda but many rinse it afterward and marinade in seasoning. That how I made Chinese beef steaks at home and it always come out so tender.

  4. Yo, Golden Dynasty is the shizzy, y’all!

    The chicken with broccoli cake noodle lunch special for only $5.25 is the bomb diggity! (It used to be $4.50 a couple of years ago.) It’s big enough for two people.

    I love living behind Puck’s Alley because there are so many good places to eat within a short walking distance. Booyah!

    I’d like to apologize for my use of outdated slang.

  5. When passing through the 808 from 684, Golden Dynasty has always been a favorite mainstay. They’ve always managed to put out great food with great prices. Glad you covered them Pomai.
    For tender beef, it’s usually a “bird bath” in baking soda that does the trick. Must rinse well afterwards as it can be bitter before cooking in sauce of choice.

  6. Pomai–

    Can you feature a local vegetarian place sometime, or point out some vegetarian things at the places you go to? I’m hoping to give my Illinois-born boyfriend a food tour of the island when we visit within the next year, but I realized I barely know of any good local places that have tasty vegetarian options! (besides Zippy’s veg chili, lol) If you could cover some places, or let me know places you’ve already been to, that would be AMAZING.

    Looooove your blog! I read it whenever you have a new entry! Helps curb the homesickness. 🙂

  7. Oh, wow, wish I had been there to help you guys finish all that ono-looking food. I wouldn’t have minded the styrofoam serving containers, either. 🙂

  8. Aldona, there’s quite a few Honolulu restaurants with a vegetarian menu or options listed on Yelp.  Not surprisingly, many of them are Thai or Vietnamese restaurants. Speaking of Thai, I highly recommend Blue Ocean Thai Restaurant. And for great Vietnamese, Bac Nam. Both offer great food at great prices. They both have quite a few offerings that are vegetarian. I’m sure they’d also be more than happy to take special requests as well. Very nice folks run those places.
    Paki, Kelike, Tracy and Jocelyn, thanks for the tenderizing tip! I’m wondering how that would work out with beef short ribs for making Kalbi. Any thoughts on that?
    Paki, what do you mean by “bird bath” in baking soda? Sounds like a method that works well.
    Marvo, that comment was “totally raaaadd duuuude”. lol
    Kelike, what is a Chinese Beef Steak? Is there some special spices or sauce that goes on it? Also, is it cooked as one giant cut of beef like an American steak, or is it more like chop steak?
    Tracy Jay, I know what you mean by spongy texture. I’ve had beef broccoli that was like that before. The beef has this rather weird feeling when you bite into it, like it’s coated in “meat paste”.

  9. Jenny, in retrospect, I wish I had chosen 1 order of each dish and had more variety. Needed more seafood and vegetable dishes.
    Nate, it actually worked out, as another aunt came in from the mainland later that evening and was more than happy to help finish the leftovers!

  10. Pomai, I’m with Paki on the “bird bath” treatment. I usually place one or two heaping tbsp of baking soda in a 9 x 13 pan. Dip some a piece of London broil or flank no more than a bird’s “bo-cha” time – 10 seconds top. You’ll actually see collagen dissolving before your eyes – then rinse well since baking soda is bitter. I’ve grilled “dipped” flank until well done and it’s still tender as the best filet mignon… but not with that almost “melted in the mouth” consistency as beef dipped too long…

  11. hey pomai. i think the official term of tenderizing meat (and chicken) in the chinese style is called “velveting”. google it. but someone above did mention the technique which uses corn starch or baking soda.

    looks ono! living in nyc you cannot get this type of hawaiian style chinese food here. oh how i miss it! but i am flying home this sat. for 2 weeks so i will make sure to check out your previous posts for places fo’ grind.


  12. Pomai, in most Chinese restaurants menus they list it as cube steaks with green or beef steaks. Very popular dish and Chinese customers ordered it for special occasions at time.

  13. Pomai, Ryan has it correct with the “bird bath” treatment, i.e., the length of time you have your meat being marinaded in baking soda should be the length of time a bird is normally going for a “short frolic” at bath time lol. Never too long and always rinsed well. Mahalo plenty Pomai! Love your blog!!

  14. Midge, I forgot the Crispy Gau Gee, darned it!
    Paki, so exactly how long would you say a “short frolic” bird bath takes? 1 minute? 2?
    The way it’s beginning to sound is that if you leave the meat in the baking soda overnight, it will be “meat pudding” the next morning. lol
    Chuck, glad to hear you got your “choppers” working again! Time fo’ grind, but be careful you no’ buss’ ’em, or bum’bie gotta’ fly back Oahu fo’ fix ’em!
    Aaron, next time I go to Hee Hing (Kapahulu avenue) I’ll be sure to order the Cantonese Sizzling Steak. Thanks!
    Kelike, I’ll try Aaron’s suggestion.
    Darren, my coworker uses the cornstarch method for tenderizing meat.. I have yet to Google-research how this whole cornstarch and baking soda meat tenderizing method works from a food science perspective, but I’ll get to it later when I have time.
    Have fun on your visit back home starting this Saturday! If you try any places reviewed here, leave  a comment on how it turns out for you. See you soon on da’ rock!

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