The UK based Restaurant, Hotel and Wine Review

Lisa Teoh says "don't miss the lobster noodles!" at the
Mandarin Kitchen

Mandarin Kitchen has got to be one of the best Chinese restaurants in London. It is conveniently situated at the southern end of Queensway, opposite the tube station. The restaurant specialises in all types of seafood, but the house speciality is lobster noodle: prime wild Scottish lobster baked whole in a ginger and spring onion sauce and served on a bed of thin noodles - simply delicious! Mandarin Kitchen is extremely popular with the Chinese community (always a good sign) and we even know of Singaporeans who book a table for lobster noodle before taking off from Changi airport! Others have been known to carry take away portions back home with them on the plane...

All the dishes, and not just the seafood ones are exceptionally good. Our particular favourites are steamed scallops with spring onion and soy sauce. But beware: they are very rich and two scallops per person are plenty for an appetiser. Cantonese style roasted chicken is a lovely main dish - succulent, moist chicken served on the bone with amazingly flavourful crispy skin. Sprinkled with lemon juice and dipped into the salt mixture served on the side, the flavours flood the senses.

Traditional dishes such as Peking duck are done to perfection and served with aplomb at the table (the duck is dexterously shredded and your first pancake filled and rolled with chopsticks in front of you: very impressive for first-timers). The steamed fish of the day is always a good bet and the simple green vegetable dishes, particularly the Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, are lovely accompaniments.

There is a small selection of wines and beers, but, to be honest, Chinese tea is the best accompaniment to your meal.

Puddings are limited and usually not required, but if you have a sweet hole at the end of your meal, the toffee banana fills it beautifully!

Although booking is not an absolute requirement since it is quite a large restaurant with a fairly rapid turnover, it is advisable unless you don't mind waiting 40 mins. And even with a booking, be prepared to wait a short time - it is worth it! One final word of warning - don't try to eat lobster with chopsticks. Do it like the Chinese and use a fork!

Lobster is charged at the seasonal price by weight but averages £25. Scallops are £1.80 each, most seafood or meat dishes are around £7 and the whole roasted chicken costs £9.90.

Lisa Teoh - February 1999 -

The Mandarin Kitchen, 14 Queensway, Bayswater 020 7727 9012

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