Five Questions with Yu Fang Liu, Co-Owner of Sunflower Cafe

Gathered and photographed by Andrea Lee

Eight years ago, Yu Fang Liu, the former owner of Mei Sum Dim Sum, opened Sunflower Cafe on Maunakea Street. Since then, the restaurant has served dim sum favorites, Hong Kong-style dishes, and the best homemade soy milk.

How has Chinatown changed in the time you’ve been here?

Now there’s more competition from other restaurants, more homeless, more crime and theft, young criminals targeting the elderly… But it is cleaner than before. The streets get cleaned more often.

What are your customers like?

All kinds—local, American, Chinese, Japanese. People come here to eat because the price is better and the food is genuine Hong Kong style. We have lots of regulars.

What is your average day like?

I do the waitressing, so I do everything, the bad and fun.

What is your favorite thing about Chinatown?

My friends are here, most of the people I know are here.

If Chinatown were a dim sum, what kind would it be?

It would be the beef balls. We make it with dried orange skin inside, for a more authentic taste.

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