Eat Me: Asian Star in Wailuku
By Kristin Hashimoto
Imagine ordering duck from a Chinese restaurant and receiving a perfectly cooked, crisp thin skinned, rough chopped half duck over a bed of rice. Now, think of that exact preparation method, sans the aromatic spices and almost overpowering star anise flavor and possibly, red food color, and you’ve got Asian Star’s crispy chicken.
This chicken is delicately crisp, oh-so moist, marinated, baked, then flash-fried in hot, hot oil to get that amazing almost paper thin crackle of skin over breast, leg and thigh meat. It arrives over a bed of rice with a salad and only costs $12.95. Generously portioned, this family-style dish can be shared or devoured solo.
It tastes like chicken should taste. It’s not weighed down with any kind of heavy flour or egg dredging. It won’t have large flecks of pepper flakes, or clumps and lumps of crispy oil infused bits over its entirety. It will have a very addictive crunch quality that’s also nicely salted. Chicken from Asian Star can’t be confused with its American fried counterpart. They are entirely different birds.
The lemongrass and curried chicken over thin white vermicelli noodles, is also a solid choice for fresh flavor. The ginger, onions, curry, pickled carrots and daikon all combine with toasted peanuts, shredded lettuce, mint, bean sprouts and cucumber. A sweet clear sauce with slight amber coloring is poured over the entire dish. Add some “rooster sauce,” or Sriracha, a hot chili sauce, and you’ve got a perfect afternoon pick me up, or light dinner.
Asian Star’s Vietnamese cuisine is located at 1764 Wili Pa Loop in the Millyard in Wailuku. Call 808-244-1833 for more details. They are open from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.