Hung Paradise, Aruba

You’ll find solid, regular Chinese food at Hung Paradise located in the Seaport Marketplace, Oranjestaad, Aruba. All the standard dishes are on the menu and served by very friendly people. It’s not awesome, but fairly priced and reliable, which makes it a four out of five star joint. Let’s start with the wonton soup:

Wonton Soup at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Wonton Soup at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

I like the extra cabbage and whatnot in the soup. Then there is the “Chinese Tomato Soup,” which was strange to hear but tasty to eat. Check it out in the following photo:

Chinese Tomato Soup at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Chinese Tomato Soup at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

The tomato soup was an unusual item, one I would recommend. Give it a try. Another locally adapted item is the giant egg roll, which is nearly as big as the plate and stuffed with all kinds of things. Here’s one cut open:

Giant Egg Roll at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Giant Egg Roll at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Yeah, that thing is huge. Then there were some regular features like the kung po pork seen next:

Kung Po Pork at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Kung Po Pork at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

The kung po needed more spice, more heat. Finally, there was a chicken with snow peas, another reliable dish you see here:

Chicken with Snow Peas at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

Chicken with Snow Peas at Hung Paradise, Aruba.

This was a good meal at a price that most visitors will find very affordable. Service is accommodating and cheerful. So, for something different, casual, and predictable, try Hung Paradise. Bon dia.

Canton Overseas, Aruba

Canton Overseas is a little bar/restaurant I stumbled into last week while running errands on the east side of Oranjestaad. I like small, local joints for snacks or an ice-cold Coca-Cola. Passing by this place, I saw a pleasant looking Chinese woman working an outdoor grill with real charcoal under the metal. I thought to myself, hey, this is worth a try. In I go to find a buffet line with roast chicken, ribs, fried rice, and a bunch of other items. Naturally, I ordered up a couple of plates. Check it out.

Simple fare to be sure. That’s roast chicken and a some pieces of spicy chicken, too. The nice thing was, you could buy each piece and mix and match. Can’t beat that for variety and value. Two platters as shown, with tap water followed by a Coca-Cola cost all of 21 florins, about 12-13 US dollars. Great price. I’ve been back a few times with good results. The young man working behind the bar has also taught me some Chinese words which will come in handy sooner or later.

Bon dia.

Great Rich, Sunday BBQ, photos

The Great Rich Bar and Restaurant is located in Paradera, Aruba. This is what you would call a local joint. On Sundays they offer a BBQ of smoked ribs, chicken, rice, coleslaw, and corn on the cob. Here’s how it works. You skip breakfast so that you’re good and hungry. Then you pull in and park at the Great Rich, shown below.

greatr1aYou go inside where you tell the nice lady behind the bar that you would like the Sunday BBQ. You pay her and get a ticket like the one in the photo here.

greatr2This ticket you take outside, past the smokers which are doing a great job of cooking up those chickens and ribs as you can see here.

greatr3

The guys working the chow line speak Papiamento and Chinese, but not much Spanish. However, a few smiles, some hand gestures, and you’re good to go.

greatr4That guy there swings a Chinese cleaver the way Paul Bunyan swung and ax. He whacks a rack of ribs into three parts, a half chicken into four more and then puts them atop a pile of fried rice and cole slaw. A small piece of corn on the cob is added for color and good effect. At this point, most people tote their meal home for a feast. I prefer to dine at such establishments as the characters who appear are nothing short of incredible. Thus, I trot back into the bar, ask for utensils, and proceed to mow down everything you see here.

greatr5That’s right, all that food (1/2 a chicken, rack of ribs, about 3 cups of fried rice, 1/2 cup cole slaw and corn on the cob) cost 15 florins, call it an eight and a half dollar bill. Beverages are extra. I enjoy this kind of meal once in a while, especially in this setting. No franchise uniforms, no pre-programmed patter from the staff, no flavorless items found the world over. You’ll see various BBQ’s like this around Aruba, but each one is different. Give one a try; your heart surgeon will love you for it!

Bon dia from Aruba.