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The crablegs they served during their crabfest were totally overcooked so it was almost impossible to get any of the crabmeat out of the shells. It was like that the whole evening, so my assumption is it was done on purpose to prevent the customer from eating them and therefore save them some money. The rest of the food was mediocre at best, definitely not worth $ 31 + tax per person. It is a shame because this restaurant used to have excellent food, but has gone down badly over time.
On Victoria Day, they decided to close earlier than advertised hours, and did not let us in. It took me 3 attempts to get a call back from the head office customer service, who told me Sorry... come again another time... and don't forget to call to check availability. Calling in advance may be a good idea. Coming back to this place - doubtful.
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.
Following a surgery last year, I have been restricted on what and how much I can eat. I have always gone to the manager at any restaurant and requested special permission to be charged as a child. Until July 17, 2010, there has NEVER been a problem. Ever. The managers have always been gracious and accommodating. Until last night. My husband, son and I went to the Mandarin Restaurant in Barrie on Fairview Road. As my ususal practice, I asked to speak to the manager to explain my condition and request permission to be charged at the child rate. He explained to me it was his restaurant and that request was not possible. He told me to either order from the menu and take the left overs home, or eat from the buffet. I tried to explain we were staying at a hotel, and he just kept smiling and shaking his head. As the restaurant was a request of my son, I didn't make a scene. I did go back and try to explain to him the situation, and he again told me it was his restaurant and his rues. I will never eat at his restaurant again. I am offended at his attitude and disrespect. The food is adequate at best. It would seem the manager of this Mandarin is interested in making money and not accommodating those with any type of difficulty. I was truly embarassed
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