Manapua from Island Manapua Factory

062209 island manapua box

My boss’s mother brought us manapua from Island Manapua Factory, one of my favorites! They have several locations with the main ones in Kalihi and in Manoa. When my father-in-law is visiting from Maui, this is a must-stop omiyage spot for him.

Manapua is what I had known all my life as char siu bao or 肉まん nikuman, but I never heard it by the name manapua until I moved to Hawaii. The two popular options are baked and steamed, and Island Manapua offers both with various fillings like char siu, oyster chicken, lup cheong, to name a few. Also serving tasty Chinese noodles and side dishes for take-out, this is one of my all time favorites for a cheap and satisfying lunch.

062209 island manapua

I helped myself to a sampling of each item from the box of goodies:

  • Steamed Char Siu Manapua ($1.25)
  • Baked Curry Chicken Manapua ($1.25)
  • White Rice Cake ($0.75)
  • Deep fried mochi ball with sweet bean paste – Jin Dui? ($0.95)

Island Manapua Factory
Manoa Marketplace, ground level by Bank of Hawaii
2752 Woodlawn Drive #5-113
Honolulu, HI 96817
Mon-Fri 7:30a-8:00p
Sat 7:30a-7:00p
Sun 8:30a-5:00p

12 Responses to “Manapua from Island Manapua Factory”

  1. 1 Er June 30, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I really like the chow fun from Island Manapua…oh, and I LOVE the pork hash too! A lot of times I’ll only eat the noodles & pork hash! 🙂 As for the manapua itself, I’m okay with either the steamed or the baked…sometimes the steamed has a bit TOO MUCH of the bread on the outside tho.

  2. 2 Kristen June 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I grew up loving Island Manapua! It was always such a treat- I’m with Er- I loved their chow funn and pork hash. However, someone new took over the Manoa store and I really don’t think it’s as good anymore 😦

    • 3 honolulueats June 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm

      Er (and Kristen): I love their chow fun too! Remember when we used to have lunch breaks when we were in class at Manoa? I picked up lunch at Island Manapua quite often.
      Kris: Really? They changed owners and it’s not as good anymore? Don’t you hate it when that happens to your favorite eatery?

      • 4 Er July 1, 2009 at 10:03 am

        I didn’t realize they changed owners either. To be honest, I can’t even tell the difference in quality! :-p But yeah, if taste changes from what you like/used to, makes it hard.

        Ai: Totally remember going to Manoa for lunch back in the COE! In a way, that was out “hangout” because we had classes at Manoa Elem & UH. Those were the days…:-)

  3. 5 Sister-in-law #1 July 1, 2009 at 12:29 am

    When I moved to Berkeley, I went up to a lunch stand and asked for a manapua. The woman looked at me funny, and I had to rewind and ask for a char-siu bao. Then the woman told me it was a “pork bun.”
    I love Island Manapua, too. My favorites are the half moon (pepeiao, ear) or pork hash.

    • 6 honolulueats July 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm

      SIL1: That Berkeley story is funny. What makes it even funnier is the way manapua sounds. The word manapua sounds so goofy, the lady must have thought you were punking her. Oh yes, half moons… My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

  4. 7 RobynT July 2, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Did you ever eat manapua from Chun Wah Kam? They have so many flavors and one is called Nikuman. This confuses me. Is there a typical filling it has in Japan? Oh… beef?

    Oh and also, I asked for “fried noodles” at the Panda Express at Michigan State and they were like, “You mean chow mein?”

    • 8 Er July 2, 2009 at 10:45 am

      Ooo! Chun Wah Kam is great for noodles! They have a BUNCH of different ones besides the typical chow mein & chow fun. I love their fried saimin and udon. Good stuff! They do have a lot of different manapuas too…

  5. 9 honolulueats July 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Robyn: I have not tried Chun Wah Kam yet – thanks for the tip! Hmm… I thought nikuman meant manapua. In Japan, it typically has ground meat (pork, I think), but I’ve never seen it used as a “flavor”.
    I didn’t know that mainland people don’t call chow mein fried noodles!

    Er: I actually don’t know where it is. Can we go sometime? (translation: can you take me?)

    • 10 Er July 2, 2009 at 10:39 pm

      I usually go to the one in Aiea/Waimalu area when I visit my grandpa. We can totally go one day (translation: I’ll take you ;-))! It’s good stuff!

  6. 11 Kristen July 3, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Ooooooooh! Me, too please. Maybe we can go when we go shopping for the shower?

    • 12 Er July 3, 2009 at 11:20 pm

      That sounds like a good idea! Let’s make that a date. Oh, and we do need to go shopping soon…!

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