Earlier this week, a very close friend of mine had arrived from America and wanted me to take her out for dinner. After a long discussion of what cuisine to have we finally settled for Chinese. Now that we had agreed upon the cuisine, we had to decide on a place where we were going to dine. After I listed a few Chinese restaurants, my friend hastily exclaimed, that she does not want to go to a place that serves Chinese food with a “desi” touch to it, and wanted to have some authentic Chinese food. Thus, I immediately suggested that we should go and try Mandarin Kitchen that had recently opened its doors in Lahore. Located in DHA, Mandarin Kitchen offers an assortment of Chinese classics and signature Asian dishes. They even have a live kitchen, which allows one to have glimpse of what’s cooking.
Upon entering the restaurant, we were welcomed by their courteous staff, and were seated immediately. After being seated we were just going through the menu, when a waiter brought some complimentary fish crackers and drinks to our table. We were extremely pleased with this gesture of generosity that the restaurant offered. Finally, we were completely ready to place our order, and decided upon ordering their Dumpling Basket for starters, followed by Beef Chilli Dry, and the Mandarin Rice Nest for the main course. Our appetizer arrived at our table in no time, and we instantly grabbed our forks and helped ourselves to the dumplings. I have to say that the dumplings were cooked to perfection, which a lot of eateries in Lahore fail to do. And tasted absolutely delicious- perhaps the best of all dumplings that I had tried in Pakistan.
After some time, our main course was ready to be served. Upon its arrival I was extremely delighted because, both the dishes were presented beautifully. The Mandarin Rice Nest had its chicken actually served in a potato crunch nest, with a yellow vegetable bird sitting on top. The Beef Chilli Dry was also presented very uniquely, the beef was wrapped up with wafer thin chicken slices, crumbled with crunchy potato flakes, and was topped with Mandarin’s special sauce. Coming to the taste, the food tasted absolutely delectable and all the ingredients were extremely fresh. My friend was extremely pleased with her Beef Chilli Dry and said that it was the best that she had tasted yet, since the beef was cooked perfectly and was soft to chew. As for me, my Mandarin Rice Nest won me over with its exceptional presentation, and its sweet and sour chicken gravy.
We absolutely enjoyed dining at Mandarin Kitchen, everything from the ambience to the service and the food was excellent. Extremely happy with my experience. I’d give Mandarin Kitchen a 10 out of 10, and would definitely recommend everybody to try it once.