One of the things we knew we wanted to try while in Honolulu was Manapua - the local take on a Char Siu Bao - so we hopped on a bus to Chinatown to visit Char Hung Sut.
It doesn't look like much from the outside:
but once we got inside, the tiny shop was a bustle of activity. We crowded into the line of people waiting to order, and watched the assembly line at work.
They definitely do a good business here, as evidenced by the large stacks of boxes waiting to be filled:
The line moved quickly, and soon we were at the front and a bit bewildered about what to order - even after finding the little menu tucked away on a side wall:
Fortunately, the lady taking our order was nice and patient with us and we were soon off with our little box of treasures.
Now for the unboxing!
The big guy on the left is the headliner - the manapua. As mentioned before, it is a style of Char Siu Bao - a steamed bun with a pork filling.
Super good. The bun bread had perfect texture, and the pork filling was a satisfying mix of savory flavor with a hint of sweet.
Next up, the Half Moon:
The flavor of the filling was similar to the manapua, but with a different texture - more chopped pieces rather than shreds. Also very good.
The "Pork Hash", seen below, is a purse-shaped bun with a much denser filling than the previous two.
Next we had another pork-filled bun - Ma Tai Soo. This one was baked rather than steamed like the others, resulting in a more flaky dough. I enjoyed it, but both the filling and the dough were a bit sweet for me.
Now onto dessert. First up, Rice Cake:
It had a fun, squiggly texture and was sweet, but not too sweet.
Our final item was the Black Sugar Mochi:
I was pretty texturally challenged with this one - it just isn't my thing. Still, it was fun to have tried it.
After going through our box of goodies, we were still a bit hungry so we stopped back into Char Hung Sut to get a couple more manapua - much to the amusement of the woman taking our order for the second time. She thought we were crazy for having only gotten one to share the first time around, and she was right!
Char Hung Sut 64 N Pauahi St. Honolulu, Hawaii 808-538-3335