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Step Up to the Plate

The Mandalay

By Alana Folen Photos By Anthony Consillio
August 3, 2014

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: Shanghai Dumpling ($3.95 regular, $1 Saturday-Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. through August)

It’s lunchtime, and The Mandalay on Alakea Street is packed with patrons conversing over authentic Cantonese fare within a clean and spacious atmosphere. The comprehensive menu is filled with tried and true favorites, but many diners also take a liking to the restaurant’s dim sum, served daily from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Among the vast selection, newly-released Shanghai Dumpling has quickly gained the spotlight.

Shanghai Dumpling has garnered an impressive following since making its debut on the menu about a month ago.

The filling is comprised of minced pork seasoned with salt and pepper, ginger, onion, gelatin and chicken broth. According to Chan, gelatin acts as a thickener for the chicken broth.

Once each dumpling is carefully prepared by hand, it’s left to steam for 8 minutes.

Made-to-order, the chef prepares the dumpling skin by rolling flour dough into a thin layer. “This is an important process,” says owner Linda Chan. “The skin is what holds the dumpling together.”

This year, The Mandalay celebrates its eighth anniversary, hence the $1 Shanghai Dumpling deal this month. However, Chan states there is a three basket limit per table, and the deal only is valid with the purchase of an entree.

A vinegar and ginger dipping sauce accompanies the dumplings, and kicks it up a notch with zest.

“Because there is soup in the dumpling, the proper way to eat it is with a soup spoon (rather than chopsticks). Once you bite into it, there’s a tendency for the soup to squirt out, so you have to be careful,” explains Chan.

The Mandalay

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