Dazzling Palates with Exotic Tastes

Columns What's for Lunch?

November 17, 2013

Story By: Rachel Breit | Photos by: Rachel Breit

Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant’s elegant, embellished interior and friendly, personalized service will remain the same — what’s on the menu will not. Of course, classic Chinese dishes have their place, but plates of the ubiquitous “same ole” just aren’t served.

The establishment is constantly reinventing itself. “I don’t want people to think it’s the same,” explains Sylvia Ho, one of Jade Dynasty’s owners. “I want people to have a different experience each time, try new things and be adventurous.” This month, the restaurant serves some new, exotic specials for diners to look forward to till mid-December.

You’ll warm right up to Taro & Chicken in Portuguese-Style Sauce Hot Pot ($18.95). The tender chunks of chicken, cubes of taro and mushrooms are simmered in curry sauce that is best eaten over rice or noodles. The taro “melts” into the slightly spicy sauce, giving it a creamy body. Regulars of the restaurant will be happy to hear taro takes a showcase in this hearty hot pot, as apparently it’s not unheard of for diners who can’t get enough of the Hawaiian starch to ask, “Where is your taro?”

Taro can also be sampled in some of the restaurant’s dim sum offerings. A team of eight people in the kitchen dedicated to hand-making dim sum ensures the dumplings are the height of freshness, healthy even. Dark Mochi Wrap ($3.50) “helps with bad circulation” explains general manger Gary Chan. The health benefits come from the black rice it’s made with, which is wrapped in white mochi and dredged in shredded coconut. The chewy end-of-meal treat is sweetened with candied winter melon and unique to Jade Dynasty. Another dim sum to try is Pan-Fried Pork & Veggie Bun ($4.50, 3 pieces), where juicy minced pork and Chinese cabbage are bundled inside a doughy bun. Cooks steam the buns then panfry the bottoms to a crisp.

It’s a delightful dichotomy of textures.

Another dish that features contrasting, yet harmonious flavors is Chicken Salad with Pomelo & Pine Nuts ($18.95), where protein, vitamins and healthy fats are presented with a tasty twist. Hand-pulled poached chicken and local pomelo are tossed with roasted pine nuts, cilantro, sesame oil and Hawaii sea salt. Less acidic than grapefruit, pomelo bursts with bright citrus flavor. The idea to add pomelo was inspired by Vietnamese cuisine, where the flesh is a staple in salads. “Pomelo has vitamin C, and it’s refreshing,” says Ho.

Ho also notes that the restaurant has private rooms available with TVs to display presentations. While the thought of a presentation about work may be a snoozer, the new dishes at Jade Dynasty will definitely get your juices flowing.

Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant

Ala Moana Center, Fourth floor
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Ste. 4220
Daily, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best