Char Hung Sut – Honolulu’s Legendary Manapua (Bao)

Char Hung Sut is the place in Honolulu to get Hawaiian manapua. Check it out here:

Honolulu is just a small city, but it offers such a diverse land of amazingly delicious food. there is plenty of Hawaiian food, Japanese food, Korean food, and Chinese food – as well as fusion food that’s Hawaiian style Chinese food. Char Hung Sut has been around for very long time, and they’ve been serving up classic Hawaiian style baozi known as manapua.

Located in Honolulu’s Chinatown, on the outskirts, the restaurant continually attracts a crowd of hungry locals. It’s just a small restaurant, and it’s only a takeout restaurant, but everyday, there are plenty of locals who come to get a box of goodies. The menu is very simple,
Char Hung Sut mostly sells manapua (the steamed buns filled with char siu), mai tai soo (small dumplings that are baked and filled with char siu), pork siumai (delicious dumplings filled with pork), and half moons (which are little half moon shaped steamed dumplings). They also have chow mein on the menu, but of all the times I’ve ever been there, I’ve actually never had the chow mein – have you had it? Let me know how it is if you have!

So anyways, on my last visit to Honolulu, Hawaii, we stopped by Char Hung Sut in the midmorning to grab ourselves a treat. Like I mentioned, it’s only a takeaway restaurant in Honolulu, so you first tell them everything you want, they box it up like a present and then wrap a ribbon around the outside before they hand it to you. Normally I would grab my box of Char Hung Sut and head to the beach or back home to eat, but this time I decided to unwrap my gift right there to get a first fresh bite of all the goodies.

I began with the pork hash (siu mai), a delicate little dumpling of fatty pork covered in a thin noodle like wonton wrapper. The meat was sweet and juicy, with such amazing pork flavor that burst with every bite. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been a fan of the pork hash. I accidentally forgot to order a side of spicy Chinese mustard because I love it with pork hash, but I forgot. Next I took a bite of the half moon, as it was called on the menu. It was a thick rice paper wrapper, a bit too thick in my opinion, and then filled with bits of char siu and lots of water chestnuts. Wasn’t my favorite item in the box. Next I dug in for a bite of the mai tai soo, another famous treat at Char Hung Sut. This was actually my first time to order it here, but I had read many reviews of people who had ordered it and loved it – so that’s why I decided we need to have some too. It was the only baked item that we ordered, so the outer crust was flaky and baked instead of gooey steamed. It was quite good, but a little too sweet for me.

Finally, saving the best thing for last, I took a bite of the main event, the manapua (bao). These Chinese baozi style steamed buns are huge and meaty. The first bite not only included some of the bread, but also a big chunk of char siu (which is the sweet red Chinese barbecue pork). The manapua is the real reason I eat there, it’s always my favorite item!

Char Hung Sut, Honolulu, Hawaii
Address: 64 N. Pauahi Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
Phone number: 808 538 3335
Open hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 5:30 am — 2 pm, Sunday from 5:30 am — 1 pm, Tuesday is closed

Music in this video courtesy of Audio Network

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