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New Dishes for Health-Conscious Customers

Digest Foodie Fare

April 7, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

On a late afternoon on a recent weekday, various parties gathered to enjoy a late lunch in the relaxing, elegant atmosphere of The Mandalay. A couple groups of customers leisurely chatted over their meals, while others were there for a business meeting. The Mandalay serves up tasty Cantonese cuisine and Hong Kong-style dim sum in a convenient downtown location, making it the perfect place to enjoy a casual lunch with friends or add a little spark to a meeting. Small alcoves also offer a place for couples to enjoy an intimate dinner.

  • Vegetarian Scallop with Baby Bok Choy ($11.95)
  • Vegetarian Bean Curd Soup ($3.95)
  • Mixed Seafood in Taro Basket ($17.95 small, $38 large)
  • Server Wilfred Leung
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The Mandalay boasts an extensive menu that features a range of dishes — from seafood and meat to a growing vegetarian selection. Linda Chan, who co-owns the restaurant alongside her husband, explains that The Mandalay offers traditional cuisine that can be found in Hong Kong, as well as locally inspired flavors.

The restaurant serves dim sum, which is cooked to order, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The most popular dim sum dishes include Shrimp with Chive Dumpling, Scallop with Spinach Dumpling and Seafood Bundle, which includes fish fillet, shrimp, mushroom and baby corn wrapped with bean curd. Each dim sum dish is priced according to size (prices range from $2.50 to $4.95).

“Everything is made by hand,” Chan says. “A lot of workmanship is involved with the dim sum.”

Apart from dim sum, regular menu items include Award-Winning Deep-Fried Chicken Wing ($10.95), Peking Duck with Buns ($30 for a whole duck, and $16 for a half) and Mongolian Beef ($10.95). Chan says that one customer favorite is House Special Chow Mein ($10.95), which features fish fillet, shrimp, scallop, cuttlefish and mixed vegetables over noodles.

For one interesting option, try Mixed Seafood in Taro Basket ($17.95 for a small; $38 for a large), which features various types of fish and vegetables — all in a tasty taro bowl.

On top of all of these quality dishes, as of recently, vegetarians can enjoy a couple of new menu options created with no-meat diets in mind. Just a couple of weeks ago, The Mandalay has added two new dishes: Vegetarian Scallop with Baby Bok Choy ($11.95) and Shredded Tofu with Broccoli ($10.95). The restaurant also is looking to add more vegetarian dishes in the near future.

“Nowadays, people are more health conscious, and they try to eat more healthy,” Chan explains. “People are looking for more vegetarian dishes, and we have had many requests for these items.”

The Mandalay also has many more vegetarian menu items, such as Vegetarian Bean Curd Soup ($3.95).

For more new options, customers won’t have to wait long. The Mandalay plans to unveil a new menu in June.

Validated parking is available Monday through Friday after 5 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday across the street from the restaurant at Bishop Square. During regular business hours, Alii Place, located next to the restaurant, offers parking for a reasonable fee.

On the Side

Although The Mandalay opened fairly recently, co-owners Linda Chan and her husband, Larry, are longtime restauranteurs. The couple moved to the Islands from Hong Kong in the 1960s and got their start in the restaurant industry bussing tables. In the 1990s, with the help of other family members who had moved to the Islands, they started their own restaurant — the now-closed chain Eastern Garden. After deciding to consolidate their efforts into one restaurant, the Chans launched The Mandalay in 2006.

Located on Alakea Street, The Mandalay has become a hub for downtown workers. After all, The Mandalay has a number of features that appeal to the busy downtown set, such as the Pau Hana Takeout Special. The special is offered from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Customers have a choice of three entrees from six different categories: Noodles and Rice, Fish, Chicken, Tofu, Beef and Pork and Vegetables. Samples of options are Crispy Gau Gee Mein, Stir-Fried Fish Fillets, Black Bean Chicken and Beef Broccoli. Three entrees cost $23 total.

Another quick and easy option is the Express Hours menu, which is offered from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. This features a plate-lunch style meal, and customers can choose one entree ($5.50) two entrees ($6.50) or three entrees ($7.50) per plate from options such as Eggplant with Pork, Orange Chicken, and Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs.

In addition to serving the needs of the weekday workers, The Mandalay also has established itself as a premier place to host a party or hold a meeting. Co-owner Linda Chan explains that The Mandalay often hosts birthday, wedding or anniversary celebrations, in addition to large meetings for organizations. To fuel your party or meeting, The Mandalay offers lunch and dinner banquet menus; there are three set menus for lunch, and four set menus for dinner. Each features a variety of dishes and can feed up to 10 people.

The Mandalay

  • Where
    • 1055 Alakea Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96813
  • Call
    • (808) 525-8585
  • Hours
    • Open daily
    • 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Website
  • Notes
    • Free validated parking Monday-Friday after 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday all day at Bishop Square (across the street from the restaurant).