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There’s been so much talk about equality these days — whether it’s women in the military, same-sex marriage … people want equal rights.
But what about equal eats? A lot restaurants out there still don’t have anything to offer non-carnivores. How hard is it, really, to come up with just one meat-free plate? But just like the aforementioned military and marriage, times are changing for vegetarians, too, as more and more people are concerned about their weight and overall health, and consequently what they put into their bodies.
Well, keep The Mandalay in mind, as the spacious, elegant Hong Kong-style restaurant on Alakea Street always has vegetarians in mind, and owner Linda Chan recommends a few customer faves from the extensive menu that contain no meat or fish at all.
Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps ($12.95) is a fun-toeat dish that presents six lettuce cups to fill with stir-fried minced vegetables including water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, carrots and celery. There’s plenty of food, yet it’s light and won’t weigh you down.
For something a bit more hearty, try Braised Tofu with Mixed Vegetables ($9.95). This appealing combination of textures and flavors features braised deep-fried tofu with black mushrooms, baby bok choy, baby corn, Chinese peas, broccoli and more.
With Chinese New Year coming up next month (gung hay fat choy!), traditional Jai ($10.95) is not to be missed. The Mandalay’s impressive “monk food” recipe contains 18 different ingredients, with the ubiquitous long rice mixed with black mushrooms, black fungus, lotus seed, red dates, water chestnuts, bean curd, carrots … and so much more. It’s a good luck dish for the new year with a whole lot of goodness packed in.
Equal eats at The Mandalay — and power to the (vegetarian) people.
1055 Alakea St., Honolulu
Daily 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.