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The only way is Essex if you’re looking for some of London’s best dim sum. Gants Hill’s Mandarin Palace, now well into its fourth decade, draws in diners from across east London all the way into
Essex, with a blend of traditional Cantonese cooking & timeworn (although rather lovely) oriental opulence. Family parties, among them many Chinese diners, throng the place at the weekend for
dim sum of superb quality & value. Slabs of creamy deep-fried turnip paste are enlivened with a fiery XO sauce, & lotus sticky rice with grated scallop also appears on the chef’s speciality
list. Come the evening, the restaurant takes on a charming, romantic glow as couples pile in for the justly renowned barbecued meats & extravagant seafood dishes (lobster with ginger &
spring onion, say), to be accompanied by some fittingly ‘grown-up’ wines.
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05 October 2013
Over 10 times to call for a reservation. Eventually gave up and just turned up. Asked TWICE if we were ready whilst still studying the menu. MY starter was brought after my partner had almost finished his. MY main was 2 dishes. One arrived on time, the other after my other dish had gone cold. – The Bill was the quickest thing that arrived tonight. Never again. It's gone down hill faster than a fat man on a bob sleigh. I've eaten there many times in the past. No More!!!
Only 2 times in my life have I refused to tip. Tonight was one of them.
23 October 2012
It was my first visit (and last) to the mandarin palace, gants hill. I ordered various dim sum and singapore noodles. However, entwined amongst the noodles was a long black hair. When i showed the waitress (i left the hair amongst the noodles) she took the plate (evidence!) away…there was no apology. The older woman stampeded over to me (i think the owner) holding a brown ‘string’ of bamboo and waving it at me. She arrogantly told me that what i had seen was a bamboo strand like the one she was holding, and not a hair…still no apology, just confrontation. She wanted to bring us a ‘free’ plate of noodles. I told her that i felt sick and would be unable to eat anything else (i only ate 2 mouthfuls)…still no apology, just an evil glare. She brought another plate of noodles, but i'd rather have eaten the dirt off the street rather than that venom. A vicious looking waitress (wearing glasses) came over to ‘have a go’ at me! She said that i should listen to other people (meaning her and the owner) and that it was a bamboo strand that i had seen and that i was wrong. (2 others at my table also confirmed it was a hair). I asked her not to speak to me anymore and to just walk away…still no apology!!! At this point i was more disgusted by the staff than by the food. I was quite shaken by this experience. It's a shame that I wasted any money at all on this crap, and paying the service charge was a violation. What a joke! I'd never go back there even if i was offered money to do so. I would rate this as worse than awful.
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