Mandarin Kitchen: classic Asian cuisine food done right.
Just a few days ago I was craving a hearty meal, something delicious that would satisfy my need to pile on the carbs without care. I decided to check out Mandarin Kitchen since I hadn’t been and was hearing rave reviews and afterward came home to rave a little myself because I feel like this eatery definitely deserves the hype. I visited the branch in Gulberg and the spoiler… I absolutely loved the place.
I picked up two friends and we headed over on a rainy Lahore evening. The guard was kind enough to give us an umbrella so we wouldn’t get wet in the rain – a small touch to make you immediately feel welcomed. On entering the restaurant, I was welcomed by an attentive staff. The place is absolutely beautiful from the inside (I couldn’t judge the exterior because of the rain) with a modern aesthetic and open kitchen so you can see your food being prepared fresh on the spot.
As we got settled, the waiter brought over some complimentary fish crackers and Mint Margaritas. It was an amazing start to our dinner. The Margarita genuinely gave me life! And was the wake up call I needed to pay attention to their extensive menu of Chinese classics along with a refreshing range of Korean, Thai and Pan-Asian signature dishes. FYI – They even have a fabulous High-Tea menu.
For starters, we ordered their Mandarin soup, because the weather demanded it. The soup is filled with chicken and shrimps that were cooked to perfection! One Word- YUM. It had the right texture and right amount of spices. I would ay this ia a treat for all the seafood lovers out there.
Alongside our soup we ordered Pizza Wontons and Kimchi Fries because both sounded adventurous and intriguing. The Wontons were something totally unique, and I loved the mix of Asian wontons with the flavour of comfort food pizza – a combo that worked! While I personally found the Kimchi flavour too strong, my friends devoured the fries because they couldn’t get enough of the mix of sweet and sour kimchi flavour with crispy fries.
For our main course, we ordered up an absolute storm. Lets start with what I think is going to become my go to comfort food because it was delightful. The Chicken Chow Mein! The flavours went perfectly together and it was the right amount of spicy since I’m a HUGE fan of spicy food.
The Schezuan Chicken and Egg Fried Rice were cooked perfectly. The chicken was really tender and the quantity of the fried rice was more than enough for three people. Again, the Schezuan Chicken also had the right amount of spice to it as I love spicy food. The food was nicely flavoured and definitely a treat to my taste buds. One bite and there was a burst of flavours in my mouth.
owever, it was the Crispy Shredded Beef that won my heart over the chicken. The crunchy texture, the touch of heat and the sticky glaze made for a winning dish. For my friends, they gave the winning prize to Chicken Dumplings, a treat we decided last min we simply had to try. It all came down to authenticity of flavour, which was on mark with almost every dish.
From the interior, to the vibe, to the intricate cutlery, everything was AMAZING – with a special shout out to their very helpful staff. I’d definitely give this place a 10/10 as my experience was great. With so many more inviting dishes to try, I can assure you I will be coming back again. But next time, I’m ordering dessert!
Written by: Aleena Sarwat