A family feast for FallCover Story
September 24, 2023
Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Jade Dynasty, located at Ala Moana Shopping Center’s Hookipa Terrace, came to fruition 12 years ago and established itself as an award-winning elegant Chinese restaurant, where families could come to celebrate for any and every occasion. The 10,000-squarefoot establishment is famously known for its traditional Hong Kong-style cuisine that is served with a modern twist, as well as its private rooms with big screen monitors for special events in which to enjoy your meal.
The eatery has prepared something special for its guests in honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival — also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival — which takes place Sept. 29 and is a traditional event celebrated in Chinese culture. Here, learn what Jade Dynasty has prepared for the occasion.
DO: What is the Mid-Autumn Festival?
JD: It’s one of the festivals that people want to go back home to celebrate together. The children would come back home, the grandkids would come back home, and they will celebrate and enjoy the full moon. It’s a family gathering time, traditionally. They’d use lanterns to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.
They’d hang it up or give it to the kids — often times in the shape of a butterfly, rabbit, airplanes and cars — and they run around with it at night in the neighborhood.
They’ll also eat mooncakes during the festival.
DO: What are some of the traditional foods eaten during the festival? What is the significance of the dishes?
JD: Pomelo is one of the fruits that people will eat during the festival because it’s seasonal and very refreshing. I created the Shredded Whole Chicken & Pomelo Salad ($39.95). We have the pomelo in Hawaii for most of the month and I used the Shanghai-style full chicken to combine the two. Another significance of the fruit was for families who couldn’t afford lanterns. They would use pomelo instead, cutting it open, taking out its meat and putting a candle inside. They’d then tie a string to it so the kids could carry it down the road and celebrate with other children.
Another thing they would enjoy is taro. They would peel it, boil it, distill it and eat it as a starch. So, that’s why I made the Baked Taro Buns ($4.95 for three pieces).
The wintermelon signifies family gathering. Chinese families love soup and will enjoy our Steamed Whole Winter Melon Soup ($92).
Lastly, we’ve created the Lobster with Mochi Rice in Lotus Wrap (market price, order two days in advance) because the mochi rice symbolizes sticking together — like a family sticking together.
DO: What are some of the brand new dishes Jade Dynasty has created in honor of the event? How is it prepared?
JD: The Tangerine Peel Pork Ribs ($19.95) and Dynasty Pork Belly in Kabocha ($31.95). For the tangerine peel, we use herbs to dry-age it. The longer it is — it’s almost like wine or tea — the taste will be more prominent and more beneficial to your health. We use it to make a sauce out of it, and marinate the ribs in it overnight, coat it with a light batter and deep-fry it. Meanwhile, the pork belly is Shanghai-style pork, marinated in sauces and braised for a long, long time, so everything is really tender. Then, we steam the kabocha. If you have a bite of both the pork belly and kabocha, it’s very nice and a nice salty and sweet balance.
DO: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
JD: We have seven private rooms available and are the perfect venue for a party celebrating any occasion. We have other amenities, including a 32-foot wide stage, and state-of-the-art sound and projection video systems.