My boyfriend and I went on Friday July 30th 2010 at around 6-7:30. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with...count them...7 people saying "Welcome to Mandarin!" . As we were promptly taken to our table through the buffet area, all cooks looked up and welcomed us in as well.. As we sat down, we waited no less than 10 seconds before our server came up and ordered our drinks. She recommened the Jacks Lemonade, so we thought we would try it. Very tastey and not too strong. She also recommened the Salmon and the Sushi, but she also told us, to my happiness that we walked in on a "Crab Legs Night." As a server myself, I know tricks of the trade (when and when not to be seen) , she got them down perfectly. She asked us how the food was turning out and if I would like a r"efill of Sprite, it's free" and it was brought promptly. This wouldn't be a big deal to most, but if you go to pubs and they don't have free refills, it's not a good thing not to know when you are thirsty. Other servers (2) were in the section and grabbed our plates just as we were setting them down, fast service.
I have never been to the Mandarin when they had crab legs before and I will surely be back for them. The were very hot and there was a lot of meat inside unlike cheap lower grade crablegs in some stores with little meat inside. The Sushi never fails me. The salmon and cream cheese sushi is the best, also the caviar one. All the food we got that night, we had to let cool down it was piping hot. I'm not complaining, I would expect warm, but this was great! The New England Style Clam Chowder is possible the best clam chowder I have had yet, and I have had many. Again, had to let this one cool down as well lol. The sausages are spicy and hot along with the kung pao.
The desserts, many to choose from was very hard. The watermelon was so fresh and sweet as well as the other fruits. Brownies were great. Lots of sugerfree options, so obviously I stayed away from those.
The bill came after our hot towels were delivered to us, along with fortune cookies. The bill was around $65, but with one alcoholic drink, sprite and 2 meals on a crab leg night, I would say that was pretty well worth it. As we left, we were thanked by all the cooks again and also all of the bartenders and hostess. We were givin one last treat on our way out, a mint.
Now to put it in "your" perspective. Many reviews on here are claiming that The Mandarin is not staying "true to its roots" by providing "real" asian food. This is because it's a chain restaurant and we live in Ontario. They make the food that way for our sake. Of course it's not real chinese, but thats how must people like it, including myself. If you want real Asian food, in Canada, go out to BC. You can hardly get "fake" chinese food out there. So if you choose to not follow my directions, don't complain about The Mandarin serving "fake" chinese, deal with it, it's so much better!