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Ali Carte
Ali Carte

All You Need is Love

By Ali Resich Photos By Nathalie Walker
September 9, 2012

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Many locals have a soft spot in their heart for all the times they’ve gathered around the table for dim sum, sharing an assortment of Chinese delights with family and friends. According to The Mandalay owner Linda Chan, there’s a whole lot of sentiment wrapped up in each little dumpling, and it all starts with the love that goes into preparing the traditional Chinese meal.

“Dim sum actually means ‘touch of heart’ in Chinese,” says Chan. “It’s because everything is made by hand and it takes a lot of workmanship.”

The Alakea street restaurant offers an array of Hong Kong-style dim sum, all made with individual attention to detail. “Our dim sum is cooked to order, so we are always working hard to bring you the freshest dish possible,” adds Chan.

With so many options to choose from, it’s best to bring the whole family and order an endless stream of plates to pass around. Fresh Shrimp Dumpling ($4.50) and Steam Scallop with Spinach Dumpling ($4.50) are among the most popular heartfelt creations and are served in traditional steamed baskets.

From seafood lovers who are ready to dive into a Deep Fried Shrimp & Seaweed Roll ($4.50) and Deep Fried Prawn Dumpling ($4.50), to the most carnivorous of barbecued pork pastry ($3.50) and baked barbecued pork bun (medium, $3.50) cravers, everyone can suit their palate with dim sum.

Vegetarians get right into the mix as well — especially when Deep Fried Taro Puff ($3.50), Egg Tartlett ($2.50), Baked Sweet Cream Bun ($3.50) and Mochi ($2.50) filled with shredded coconuts and peanuts are involved.

And there’s more heartwarming eats where that came from, says Chan, who enjoys Spring Roll ($3.50) and Gyoza ($3.50) herself.

The Mandalay’s dim sum is presented daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Diners also may indulge in the a la carte menu throughout the day. And with the eatery’s elegant, spacious interior and upstairs seating area that can accommodate up to 320 guests, there’s always an occasion to celebrate.

“We host a lot of wedding receptions, birthday parties, graduation parties,” says Chan. “It’s a wonderful space for large events.”

The owner suggests parking in the Alii Place public parking structure during business hours on weekdays; it’s located just past the restaurant on Alakea (a one-way street). After business hours and on weekends, validated parking is available at Bishop Square across the street.

Let your heart melt with a comforting dim sum feast at The Mandalay.

The Mandalay

1055 Alakea St., Honolulu
525.8585
Daily, 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.