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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, February 12, 2006

Buffet lineup showcases bountiful seafood

Manager Armando Bauzon gives his thumb of approval for these flavorful salt-and-pepper crab legs.

Photo by Randy T. Fujimori

HO HO Chinese Cuisine

Where: The Marketplace at Kapolei, 590 Farrington Hwy.

Call: 692-9880

Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays

Note: From February through April, parties of 20 will receive one free $10 gift certificate during lunch and $20 during dinner. One free $20 gift certificate will be given to parties of 40 during lunch and $40 in the evening.

Flashing two thumbs up, Armando Bauzon gushed that HO HO's salt-and-pepper crab legs are the best around town.

"People will drive from as far as Kaneohe and Kailua for our crab legs," said Bauzon, who manages this Kapolei Chinese restaurant. "Some people can eat an entire pan of these legs, which is about eight to 10 pounds."

During a week night, the restaurant goes through eight, 25-pound cases of crab legs and almost doubles this amount on weekends.

Yes, they're that popular, according to humble chef and co-owner Sonny Chan.

"The taste is inside and not just outside," he said. "This is what makes these the best crab legs in town. And it's not me saying that but my customers."

Available only during the evening buffets, these Dungeness crab legs are flash fried then sauteed with salt, pepper, garlic, green onions and bits of chili flakes.

And while the price of these crab legs have jumped up $2 per pound, Chan said he refuses to change his buffet prices.

"I'll have to wait until they're back in season and then the price will drop again," said Chan, who started cooking when he was a 13-year-old boy helping to support his family in Hong Kong. "And I can't stop putting them on the buffet line because I'd have a lot of angry guests."

The dinner buffets, from Monday through Thursday, are priced at $12.95 per person. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights (from 5:30 to 9 p.m.), the all-you-can-eat crab and seafood fests is priced at $14.95. On weekdays, the lunch buffet (from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) is economically priced at $7.95 per person.

Available from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, the brunch buffet costs $10.95, which includes homemade manapua.

"These are made here," Chan said of the baked and steamed manapua. "These are two other items that have become popular among our customers."

Other well-liked dishes that can be found on the buffet line include beef broccoli, kau yuk, black pepper steak, mapo tofu, cold ginger chicken, kung pao chicken, fried rice, noodles, crispy wontons and springrolls. (Items will vary.)

In the evening, more seafood items are available, such as crabmeat-and-cream-cheese wontons, shrimp and mussels.

Starting tomorrow, Chan will offer a special abalone wonton soup ($5.50), which will be available Monday through Friday.

"If I'm not going to eat it, I'm not going to serve it," Chan said of his soup. "I'd rather spend a little more money on quality ingredients than prepare a dish that doesn't taste good."