Hong Kong delicacies for the holidays
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Shopping can work up quite an appetite, and lucky for the weary holiday hunters, Jade Dynasty serves up dim sum and Chinese favorites. Located in Ala Moana Center’s Hookipa Terrace, the restaurant is flanked by two iron horses, and the glass portal doorway gives way to a spacious dining room with elaborate Hong Kong-style decor. Here, both traditional and cutting-edge Chinese cuisine are prepared fast enough to eat on the go and delicious enough to linger over. Jade Dynasty serves small-dish dim sum from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., when the restaurant begins full dinner service.
A perennial dim sum favorite of visitors and locals alike is the ubiquitous pork-filled manapua bun, but Jade Dynasty features a unique take on the traditional item. With a flaky, sweet crust that almost rivals a doughnut, Jade Dynasty’s Snow Mountain Char Siu Bun ($3.60 for 3 pieces) is a tantalizing mix of crispy sweetness, soft bun and savory char siu pork.
While many of the dishes at Jade Dynasty are authentically Chinese, the master chefs also bring back new twists and modern dishes from their full, monthlong immersion in Hong Kong cuisine every year.
“Hong Kong is a fast moving city, with a lot of influence from Mainland China. The trends there change quickly,” says general manager Gary Chan. The annual time abroad keeps Dynasty chefs updated on current trends, able to return and adapt them to local and international audiences.
Check out Chicken and Pomelo Salad ($17.95, served from 5:30 p.m. to closing), where half of a hand-pulled, seasoned chicken is served with pomelo, parsley and roasted pine nuts as a refreshing summer salad.
Trends may change quickly, but menus in Hong Kong also keep to an older timeclock: the seasons. “The four seasons are very noticeable in Hong Kong, more so than here,” notes Chan. Hong Kong cuisine changes accordingly: summer dishes feature more vegetables, while winter meals are heavier and more filling, such as shabushabu. While Hawaii’s climate doesn’t precipitate such fluctuation, Jade Dynasty chefs have preserved the spirit of the changing menu by continuously updating their dishes. Perfect for chillier nights is Stone Pot Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage ($12.95 per order), which includes shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage, and dried shrimp.
In December, Jade Dynasty offers a traditional take on the holiday festivities with Christmas and early Chinese New Year special menus. There’s plenty of delicious indulgence to be had in anticipation of February’s New Year, as Jade Dynasty will serve 10-person family meals with nine courses upon request.
Come Christmas Day, Jade Dynasty will offer its traditional Christmas buffet, featuring dim sum, crab legs and roast char siu. No matter what ends up underneath the tree, the Hong Kong delicacies at Jade Dynasty are a sure choice for what’s on the table.
Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
Ala Moana Center, Hookipa Terrace
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 4220
10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Dim sum served daily until 5 p.m.