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Pupu Picks

Rolling in Deep-fried Goodness

Story By Steve Murray Photos By Nathalie Walker
June 17 - 23, 2012

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For the pupu lover, no style of cuisine offers more promise than Chinese, especially if dim sum is on the menu! That’s the case with The Mandalay. The Alakea Street restaurant boasts a menu chock-full of finger-friendly items to share or hoard for your own personal pleasure.

For those interested in making or keeping friends, the Deep Fried Combination Platter ($13.95) is a good way to go. Packed high with deep-fried butterfly shrimp, spring rolls and crispy gau gee, it’s an easy way to maintain relationships. The dipping sauce that comes with the platter is a combination of sweet, sour and savory flavors, and makes a nice accompaniment for other appetizer items.

Particularly interesting is Barbecue Pork Pastry ($3.50). Tender pork is added to a light pastry that is rolled out and folded several times to ensure a light, crispy coating. After baking, the pastries are coated with honey and then broiled, which caramelizes the sugar in the honey and creates a nice golden brown crust.

Another nicely presented dish is Deep Fried Taro Puff ($3.50). Pork, vegetables and dried shrimp are stir-fried and mixed with gravy before they are placed into a pocket of steamed taro. The end product is a crispy appetizer that is flavorful without being heavy.

Want something local with your Chinese? Not a problem. Baked Barbecue Pork Bun ($3.50) is a small and soft golden-baked manapua filled with tender pork and a tangy sauce that really rounds out the flavor.

One last recommendation: Make sure to say hello to Oi Ling the next time you’re at The Mandalay. Ling is a sweet and attentive server who appears to find great joy in serving the eatery’s guests.

She also is quick with the fist bump, so be prepared.

The Mandalay

  • Where
    • 1055 Alakea Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96813
  • Call
    • (808) 525-8585
  • Hours
    • Open daily
    • 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Dim sum service 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Express hours: Monday – Friday, 10:30 a.m. – 2 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).