The Crown Jewel of Chinese-style DiningCover Story Features
March 8, 2015
Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Take a seat at the King’s table at Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant, where the 8,000-square-foot dining area resembles one straight from a castle. Its mahogany walls, ornate crystal chandeliers and Chinese-style embellishments evoke dignified flair. And the culinary samplings? Well, of course, they’re magnificent, commanding the attention of royal palates.
Tucked away in Ala Moana Center’s Hookipa Terrace, Jade Dynasty is frequented by kamaaina and a large base of international clientele. Hot off of a prosperous Chinese New Year extravaganza, the Hong Kong-style establishment was met with positive feedback regarding its Year of the Ram Dim Sum Specials, and manager Gary Chan says, “Because of customer demand, we will continue offering them.”
Jade Dynasty’s eclectic variety of dim sum boasts an ingenious amount of creativity in terms of chosen ingredients and the emergence of flavors. Abalone Jin Dui ($3.68 for two pieces) integrates sweet with savory, as braised abalone seasoned with hints of oyster sauce, shoyu and green onion is encased in Chinese-style dough that’s slow-fried to a mochi-like consistency and topped with sesame seeds.
Chan says Abalone Jin Dui stemmed from an idea of the restaurant’s owners, Ave Kwok and Sylvia Ho.
“They travel often, usually to Hong Kong. During their travels, they try a lot of different foods, and when they return, you usually can expect new specials soon enough.”
Seafood Dumpling in Ginseng Soup is another unique chef d’oeuvre. Priced at $1.88, a steamed shrimp-and-scallop dumpling sits in a splash of clean and healthy ginseng soup. “It’s a lighter choice that’s very refreshing,” says Chan.
The seafood dumpling is a welcoming prelude for Stir-fry Lamb Meat ($14.95), a northern Chinese-inspired dish, which features morsels of lamb soaked in Chinese barbecue sauce, shoyu and a dash of sugar combined with garlic, shallots, leeks and onion. Chefs also have integrated pieces of lamb into Steamed Lamb Dumplings ($3.88 for three pieces), along with minced green onion, water chestnuts and Chinese parsley. Black bean curd sauce is served on the side as a savory complement to the dish.
“By changing up the menu, it keeps customers coming back for more,” states Chan. More recently, Jade Dynasty also introduced Hawaiian Spiny Lobster (market price). “Most are familiar with Maine lobster, but we source ours locally,” Chan adds, noting that from now to May is lobster season.
Hawaiian Spiny Lobster is presented at 3 pounds per serving. The tail is steamed and seasoned to your liking with ginger and onion; garlic butter; black bean sauce; or salt and pepper. Chan states that the lobster head is a great addition to soup or jook (Chinese-style porridge).
“If you haven’t stopped by the restaurant recently, now is a good time,” Chan says with a smile. “We’re extending our Chinese New Year celebrations with these specials. Besides that, we’re also preparing for Easter Sunday Brunch and already are taking reservations for graduation parties.”
Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant offers private banquet rooms equipped with audio/visual needs, as well.
Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
Ala Moana Center, Hookipa Terrace
10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Dim sum served daily until 5 p.m.