We've been to several Mandarin locations (about 4 times a year) considering we live within a 25 minute drive of 5 of them. Our favourite is Burlington so we compare all to that location. We were visiting Barrie overnite. We got there just after 5pm so it wasn't busy yet. There were 5 employees lined up at the front wishing ":Welcome to Mandarin".....overkill and rathur annoying. The head hostess with a pleasant and efficient manner would be sufficient. On the way to the table we pass by several other groups of employees with the same "welcome to Mandarin" chant. By this time it became ridiculous and comical....great funny entertainment since I'm sure they couldn't have been serious. We were primarily for the crab legs and shrimp, some sushi, and we particularily always like the soups. They did a very good job in making sure that all the food was fresh and plentiful even later when it was busy. I stay away from any of the fried foods so that eliminates a fair amount. The ribs were tuff, the roast beef is always shoe leather so we stay with the vegetable dishes. If it wasn't for the crab legs we wouldn't be there at all because I can get the rest of the "chinese" food elsewhere at a $10 buffet. Dessert selections are always excellent, but the coffee is bad at all Mandarins. The hot towels were lukewarm and there was no fish pond at the front of the restaurant that I could see. And no fortune cookie. But the crab legs were good....maybe just a touch overcooked and a bit mushy so I wouldn't rate them as excellent. (I really wish they would have lobsterfest again) I would suggest that they organize the table service a bit more efficiently. Each time at least 3 would ask if we wanted a refill after the first went to get the refills (better than nobody asking), but it is obtrusive with the overkill. Generally when I dine I don't want staff in my face untill it's time they are needed. Well trained wait staff know when they are needed and don't just cruise around the room.
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