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14 December 2012
“Lobster, it still is …”
Mandarin Kitchen needs no introduction especially to lobster noodle devotees, of which many have been for literally decades since it was originally set up in the Queensway line up of Chinese restaurants. I had not been for a while and after watching an engrossing centre court match at Wimbledon with an old pal, this seemed an ideal choice as we had both not been for a good while.
As we had called up beforehand, we were for once not subject to the crowding round the reception area procedure, and instead were shown swiftly and almost ceremoniously to our table right at the back. Mandarin Kitchen still has its cavernous decor and gives off a slightly dated but cosy environment, but this as my pal reminded me was not such bad thing in an age of sleek but sometimes rather cold aesthetics.
And so to the choice of food this evening which was of course a healthy serving of lobster noodles for two, some vegetables, and a Chinese “Winter” broth which we had first. The lobster noodles were as exquisite as we last remembered and we wolfed down our portions with enthusiasm, whilst the Chinese broccoli was fresh and a welcome accompaniment.
We chatted as old friends do, literally of trials and tribulations, as both seemed so imminent and frequent these days, but where else better than a familiar venue such as this to do so. We left somewhat satisfied as one would say, proclaiming that we should meet up more often and to return for more lobster noodles.
18 October 2009
Just like stepping into a bustling, vibrant Hong Kong eaterie and packed with Chinese folk, so clearly a good sign. Our food was a bit curate's egg – duck was very good, but the sea bass was poorly cooked, tasteless and an unpleasant texture…rice and noodles were ok. The service and atmosphere was excellent but I do think that modern London restaurant standards have left this place behind a bit in the food department. All in all a good place for atmosphere, fun and noise but not a tremendous dining experience.
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