More savory than ever

Columns Foodie Fare

June 14, 2015

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Restaurateur Linda Chan has been serving Chinese eats in the Islands for years — before opening The Mandalay nearly a decade ago, she had owned Eastern Garden restaurant since the early ’90s. So she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to food trends.

“As time has changed, people expect more in Chinese food,” Chan says.

Luckily, exceeding those expectations is important to The Mandalay, which offers a wide variety of dishes focusing on traditional Chinese cuisine.

One popular item is Five Spice Duck ($16.95 per order; or $26 for half of a duck), for instance.

“This is an appetizer, and it’s served cold, Chiuchow-style,” explains Chan.

Chiuchow (also appears Teochow) is a regional style of cuisine that stems from a string of provinces. Chan notes that Chiuchow fare tends to be lighter and healthier than other regional varieties.

“For the Five Spice Duck, we use a five-spice sauce, and we soak the duck overnight in the sauce, and then we steam it,” Chan says.

Those namesake spices that make up the sauce are dried cloves, dried pepper, citrus peel, white pepper and dried aniseed.

If you’re looking for something that is equally appealing to the eye as it is to the tongue, there’s Curry Chicken in a Pumpkin ($32), which is, well, exactly as it sounds: It features boneless chicken stir-fried with curry — all served in a full pumpkin. The savory dish also includes green bell pepper, onions and carrots.

“You’re not only eating the inside, but you also can eat the pumpkin, too,” Chan says. “That is one of the most popular items.”

In addition to curry chicken, you can order curry seafood ($38) or black bean spare ribs ($32) inside of the full pumpkin.

If you’re looking for a good excuse to stop in, how about Father’s Day? The Mandalay offers Father’s Day deals for both brunch and dinner June 21. During brunch, there are two seatings, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and dishes include Bitter Melon Soup, Salt and Pepper Shrimp, Beef Broccoli, Orange Chicken, Chow Fun, as well as all of the restaurant’s dim sum items and a salad bar.

For dinner, Mandalay offers a buffet, which also has two seatings at 5 or 7:30 p.m. Dishes include Roast Pig, Prime Rib, Peking Duck with Bun, Snow Crab Legs and more entrees, along with a number of side dishes.

The Mandalay

1055 Alakea St., Downtown
Daily, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. (last seating)

Honolulu, HI 96813

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best