Battle of Two Manapua: Sing Cheong Yuan and Royal Kitchen

Melissa Chang and Frolic reader Chad Yamamoto go head to head with their favorite baked manapua in Honolulu.




Years ago, I made a list of my Top 5 manapua in Hawai‘i. My favorite char siu bao is Sing Cheong Yuan, for many reasons. Frolic reader Chad Yamamoto, however, passionately disagreed so much that he wrote his own rebuttal blog claiming Royal Kitchen is the best.

SEE CHAD’S RANKING: Our Top 5 Challenge: Manapua

Note that these rankings were published on our old website, which was formatted differently, so you can’t see all the photos, but you can still get the idea. Now here we are, many years later, and Chad and I are still clinging to our favorite meat buns. A few places on our Top 5 lists have even closed (R.I.P., Char Hung Sut and Libby Manapua Shop), but our best ones are still feeding the masses.
So what do you think? These shops at opposite ends of Chinatown are both longtime family-owned businesses, and each has its own style of baked manapua and its own legion of diehard fans. Is it Sing Cheong Yuan or Royal Kitchen? Let us know in the comments below!

Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery, 1027 Maunakea St., (808) 531-6688, @singcheongyuanbakery
Royal Kitchen, 100 N. Beretania St., (808) 524-4461,