A Delightful Dining ExperienceCover Story
July 29, 2018
Story By: Maria Kanai |
It’s tough competition when it comes to making and selling Chinese food in downtown Honolulu, but The Mandalay has been doing it well since 2007.
Presenting sophisticated flavors in a comfortable, elegant ambience, The Mandalay is a great place to enjoy a casual meal with friends or co-workers, and host large parties and special occasions.
Mandalay offers an extensive menu along with a vast variety of Hong-Kong style dim sum like pork hash, shrimp dumplings, steamed char siu buns and taro puffs — everything is prepared in-house and cooked to order, ensuring freshness.
Delicate and delicious, a dim sum item that can’t be missed is Shanghai dumplings, also known as xiao long bao ($4.50), which comes with three bite-size buns filled with a flavorful broth, minced pork and shrimp.
Wilfred Leung, assistant to general manager Linda Chan, mentions the restaurant’s regular dinner menu features great dishes, too, like Cold Marinated Jellyfish ($13.95), which is marinated overnight with sesame oil and other secret ingredients. Another dish Leung highly recommends is Honey Walnut Shrimp ($19.95), a traditional Cantonese dish that’s a sure hit among customers. With the crunchiness of the walnuts and sweetness lent by the dash of honey, the dish simply is irresistible.
“We stir fry shrimp with real honey walnuts and fry them together with other ingredients in a wok,” says Leung. “A wok has to be used because it can be heated to the right, hot temperature, which seals in the sauce, making the dish flavorful and tasty.”
Speaking of flavors, a dish that features contrasting, yet mouthwatering tastes is Honey Garlic Spare Ribs ($13.95), which presents tender spare ribs that are deep-fried and finished in a wok using a secret sauce that involves honey and garlic. The eatery also uses the concept of combining completely different flavors to create Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet ($15.95), a dish that presents pieces of battered, fried fish coated in a tangy, yet sweet house-made sauce.
Along with the restaurant’s taste bud pleasing plates, something else that sets this Chinese hot spot apart from others — The Mandalay does not add MSG to its food.
“We want to be healthier, people are much more health conscious these days and we want to accommodate their diets,” says Leung.
The Mandalay carries its accommodating nature throughout its dining area, as guests can enjoy their meals in a clean, classy and spacious environment. The restaurant can host up to 350 people and features a microphone and speaker system, projector screens, private rooms and a full-service bar.
“We’ve had everything from weddings, graduations and birthday parties here,” notes Leung.
Those interested in having a celebration at the restaurant need to contact The Mandalay to reserve a spot or private room. The Mandalay requires a 24 hours’ notice for parties of 30-50 people and reservations should be made a week in advance for larger events. Customers also are welcome to bring their own decorations.
Something For All
The Mandalay is able to accommodate dietary needs, including gluten allergies — many vegetarian dishes are gluten free. If one is booking a party, the restaurant also can recommend appropriate dishes that fit customers’ requirements.
Quick And Easy
Customers are encouraged to take advantage of The Mandalay’s express line when they are craving delicious Chinese food but are on the go. An express meal includes one’s choice of starch and up to three entree choices — prices range from $5.50 to $7.50. The express service is available Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.