Food La La: Panya reopens at Hokua
BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser
This week I checked out two grand reopening events at the new Panya Bistro & Bakery at Hokua. The new location offers both indoor and outdoor seating and still features all their popular dishes.
Panya owners Annie Yeung, below right, and Alice Yeung, below middle, have been in business for 16 years. At this new location, they plan to have happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. with pupu and wine specials as well as a special tea time. They also plan to open until 11 p.m. on weekends.
At a preview lunch on Wednesday, Aug. 7, we got to try a sampling of Panya’s popular dishes. This was my first time trying their full menu, although I’ve tried their bakery items many times before. Panya serves an eclectic mix of dishes inspired from various Asian countries.
A display of their cakes and desserts.
Their fruit tea is as tasty as it looks!
An appetizer sampler of seafood gyoza, shumai, and a crab crostini.
A very creamy, slightly sweet yet savory clam chowder and smoked salmon sandwich with a dill cream cheese spread.
Their Indonesian fried rice is quite spicy and flavorful. It’s not an in your face kind of spicy, but more of a gradual build up of spiciness as you keep eating it.
My favorite dish is the laksa, one of Panya’s most popular dishes. When I posted a picture of it on Facebook, I got a lot of comments from friends saying it was also their favorite dish. Laksa is a spicy noodle soup with a blend of Chinese and Malay flavors. There are two different types of noodles in it – ramen and vermicelli. It has a nice spicy kick to it but not too spicy since the coconut milk tones it down.
These desserts are almost too pretty to eat. But that didn’t stop me! My favorites are the light but creamy panna cotta (in the middle) and the green tea roll (top middle). The green tea roll has a strong matcha flavor which I love.
ON THURSDAY, Aug. 8, I attended Panya’s official grand opening party at the new restaurant. It was a full house, complete with an elaborate lion dance ceremony. There was so much food, I couldn’t try it all.
The grilled shrimp are delicious and have a peppery garlic flavor.
This juicy ginger steak was the favorite dish at the party. Ginger is so versatile and goes great with pretty much everything – chicken, tofu, fish, etc.
This is Panya’s signature green apple martini. The green apple juice has just the right amount of sweetness with a twinge of tanginess. It was so good that my friends and I later ordered just the apple juice by itself!
Panya is open daily for breakfast from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dinner is from 4:30 to 10 p.m.
Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at email@example.com.