A Fresh Beginning to 2015Digest On the Menu
December 28, 2014
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
As one of downtown Honolulu’s culinary crown jewels, The Mandalay serves as an oasis where customers can escape the hustle and bustle of the surrounding metropolis and enjoy fine Asian cuisine, including everything from Cantonese-inspired dishes to delectable dim sum.
With two floors of dining space, the Alakea Street restaurant is adept to host all sorts of special occasions, from weddings to birthday parties and business functions, and also offers a full banquet and catering menu for groups of all sizes. Diners are encouraged to make reservations for Chinese New Year, Feb. 19, and can look forward to a lion dance celebration to mark the occasion.
Owner Linda Chan, a native of Hong Kong, opened The Mandalay nearly a decade ago, and brings more than 20 years of culinary experience to the table.
All cuisine at The Mandalay is prepared without MSG, and multiple vegetarian and healthy options also are available.
Chan recommends Peking Duck ($35 for whole duck), which is served with buns to envelope the tasty meat and crispy, flavorful skin, as well as a special plum sauce to complement the duck that is marinated, then oven roasted. Seafood in Taro Basket ($18.95) serves as a popular entree, as a combination of scallops, calamari, fish fillet and cuttlefish along with carrots, mushrooms, broccoli and snap peas are served in a nest-like bowl crafted from edible fried taro and topped with a special house sauce.
The restaurant serves more than 50 varieties of dim sum daily, and each dim sum choice is made to order — not stored on a cart. The Mandalay serves dim sum from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and options range from $2.50 for smaller items to $6.95 for larger, specialty items. Baked and dessert options such as Baked BBQ Pork Bun ($3.50 for three) and Baked Egg Tarts ($2.50 for two) continue to please.
“Our dim sum is fresh,” Chan says. “When dim sum is served on a cart, it tends to overcook and becomes mushy, as is the case with shrimp dumplings, with so much heat. By preparing each dim sum order individually, we ensure the best taste, texture and freshness.”
And The Mandalay offers an array of banquet menus, including sets starting at $238 for 10 people (log on to TheMandalay-Hawaii.com to view available options). Diners also can start the year off right with The Mandalay’s New Year’s Day Lunch and Dinner Buffets slated for Thursday, Jan. 1.
The lunch buffet ($21.99 for adults, $17.99 for seniors ages 60 and over and $13.99 for children ages 3-12) will be served at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., while the dinner buffet ($29.99 for adults, $25.99 for seniors and $18.99 for children) will be available at 5 and 7:30 p.m.
Those looking for a quick meal on the go may take advantage of The Mandalay’s express menu, which is available Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The to-go counter allows customers to build their own meal, starting with one entree choice ($5.50), and diners may add additional choices for just $1 more. The menu features rotating selections daily, while mainstays, including Beef Broccoli, Mushroom Chicken, Orange Chicken, Stir-Fried String Beans and Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings always are ready to go.
1055 Alakea St., Honolulu
Open daily 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Note: Validated parking is available across the street at the Bishop Square parking lot Monday through Friday after 5 p.m., and all day Saturday and Sunday. On weekdays before 5 p.m., diners are encouraged to park at Alii Place, a municipal parking lot that offers excellent rates starting at 75 cents per half hour for the first two hours, and $1.50 per hour thereafter.