After months and months of elated anticipation, Jin Din Rou officially opened their doors to a mob of famished and impatient customers about a month ago on an already restaurant-laden and culinary-active South King St. Notwithstanding the hegemony of Pan-Asian cuisine in Hawaii, Jin Din Rou immediately enthralled locals and tourists alike for their Taiwanese specialty xiao long bao or soup dumplings (surprisingly, not-so-featured nor readily available in Oahu).
The chaotic and overpopulated restaurant mirrors the atmosphere of China, while the interior decor and architectural aesthetics embodies the essence of Japan. The initial impression is that of a sensory overload (at least in sight, smell, and sound). The structure of the rather small restaurant is simple yet refined, making it visually appealing despite the manifest lack of space and privacy between cramped tables (minus the more spacious booths for parties of 4 or more, an unfortunate discrimination against couples, which I happen to travel in!). The window displaying their dainty kitchen and industrious chefs combined with the savory fragrance of steaming dumplings only arouse further eagerness and hunger for what’s to come, drowning out the commotion of an equally excited crowd around you. But, alas, is all this hype about Jin Din Rou reprehensible? I know that I, for one, have certainly rescinded my enthusiasm and expectations for the seemingly promising restaurant and its dining experience. Continue reading
Thanks to the enticing name and favorable location, this restaurant is able to maintain a veneer of excellence. Harsh as it may sound, I need to be honest about my disappointment. To the average food-loving human being, the word “Lobster” typically evokes a salivating, pupil-dilating reaction. Furthermore, the word “King” in regards to food and beverage, implies the highest quality or acme of the preceding word. So, it was only natural for me to hold high expectations for this newly opened restaurant.
I don’t mean to simply upbraid this restaurant and write it off as an abominable, but in all seriousness, the only dish that was remotely enjoyable was actually their lobster. Way to live up to the name, although “Lobster Baby” may be more appropriate than “Lobster King.” Like I said, I’m just being honest and honestly, in this case, there are no euphemisms for “the food sucked.” Continue reading
Okay, despite the fact that the sign is missing a “G” and therefore reads “Olden Palace” instead of “Golden Palace” and the missing “SE” leads to “afood” instead of “Seafood,” I adore this place. Really, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have come to love dim sum. I don’t recall eating it very often as a child, but every time I would visit my grandparents in Hawaii, my grandma would take me to eat dim sum at a fancy hotel restaurant. This led me to conclude that dim sum was a high-end cuisine that was not to be indulged in lightly. Little was I aware of the fact that dim sum was and is quite ubiquitous and I didn’t necessarily need to wait on my grandma to eat it, thank God.
Instead, I get to go almost whenever I want! That is, when time permits. Dim sum places are usually open for the early birds up until about 1 or 2 pm. But, you’ll always find a lucky place open until much later here and there. I never used to crave dim sum, but lately it has become my go-to for Asian food. Surprisingly, I find myself craving it more than Korean food. Crazy, right? Korean food used to be the most important constituent of my daily diet. However, quite frankly, I find eating dim sum to be a more exciting experience.