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Food, culture, excitement welcomes Chinatown visitors

by Hiro Ishimaru, staff writer


For a lot of students, going to the beach is not enough, right? There is a lot to do on O‘ahu.

For example, Chinatown is all around the campus. Do you want to buy fresh food? Safeway, Foodland or Times are easy—and not so exciting. An alternative is Chinatown. Walk down Hotel Street and explore Kekaulike Market, off the promenade between Hotel and King streets. You can get bundles of fresh choy-sum and Shanghai cabbages, called pak-choy, for stir fry, at the Kahuku Farmer in Kekaulike Market, for 89 cents each.


The vendors are especially busy in the morning, but that’s where you can buy the fresh product.

Vallejo Triple One Variety Store sells ripe bananas, juicy mangos, sunrise papayas, and fresh pineapples. Those fruits are great for making smoothies. The vendors are friendly and helpful. If you have questions, ask them.

Do you want to try some Vietnamese food? You can get two big summer rolls for $2.50 at Lien Market at O‘ahu Market on the ewa-makai corner of King and Kekaulike streets.

Ishimoto has a large collection of fresh seafood. The ruby snapper, or long-tail snapper, called onaga, is one of Hawaii’s fish better known by its Japanese name than by its Hawai‘ian name, ula‘ula, it’s only $8.50 a pound.

Ula‘ula is a bottom fish caught in deep waters (100-180 fathoms), especially around outcroppings along rocky bottoms. Most of the onaga caught off the Hawaiian Islands range in size from one to 18 pounds. Onaga caught in the South Pacific are often larger (

Want to take a quiet coffee break? Forget Starbucks. Thang Fresh Coffee in Maunakea Marketplace on Hotel Street gives you a break with a small regular coffee for 50 cents and a large size for $1.

And check out Nam Fong, on the Manakea Street side, for the best Hong Kong-style roast duck, at $12.50 for a whole duck and $6.50 for half a duck.

You go to HPU, near Chinatown, so you’re in luck: You can enjoy a wonderfully lush lunch any time.



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