Mandarin Kitchen

Bayswater

Mandarin Kitchen’s dining room is in dire need of a makeover. The cave-like ceiling, brown fabric and dim lighting would be fine if diners were bats. Staff in brown tops and groups of dark-suited Japanese men on expense accounts do nothing to lift the gloom. Thankfully, service was attentive and friendly on our visit – yet this hasn’t always been the case.

The restaurant has long been famed for lobster and seafood. However, our lobster noodles with ginger and spring onion, though acceptable, could no longer be said to set the London standard. It’s worth enquiring about the ‘fish of the day’; this time, we were rewarded by stir-fried venus clams in a garlicky sauce studded with fresh red chillies. The dish was a rare highlight in a meal that was overshadowed by some criminally overcooked mixed seafood in XO sauce. The scallops, prawns and squid were rubbery and the dish was swimming in oil; thank goodness for the accompanying perfectly cooked asparagus and straw mushrooms.

None of these faults deters the hordes of queuing tourists (out-of-date guidebooks in hand) – but Mandarin Kitchen seems to be resting, nay slumped, on its laurels.

Venue name: Mandarin Kitchen
Contact:
Address: 14-16 Queensway
London
W2 3RX
Opening hours: Meals served noon-11.30pm daily
Transport: Tube: Bayswater or Queensway tube
Price: Main courses £6.90-£30. Set meal £11.90 per person (minimum 2); £20 per person (minimum 4)

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
1 person listening
tony

I went here with partner and two small children for the dinner menu. I am Chinese myself and have worked in restaurants growing up therefore I will know instantly if a restaurant is good or not. The service was quite slow although the waitress was very friendly once they did come by. As for the food, the seafood starters we ordered were pretty bland. The main course was no better than the average takeaway and I ended up paying £90 for what seemed like takeaway standard food. The only dish I enjoyed was the eel in black bean sauce hot pot. When we left, none of the waiters said bye and were only interested in opening the doors for new guests. In my opinion, there are plenty of places that offer much cheaper prices for same quality of food and non-existent service. I will NEVER be returning even if I win the lottery

TinTin

I live locally and eat at plenty of fine restaurants. I don't agree with this review at all. The food here has been consistent for years, and there isnt any better seafood for miles, which is why I go. Razor Clams, Sole or Turbot, Crab, all excellent. The place has a good buzz to it too and Ive always found service pretty good. Royal China across the road has less atmosphere and the service is shocking, though it does have some decent food, its overpriced. Gold Mine down the road is great for meats and hotspots, but if you want Seafood and atmosphere come here.

Jamie

We eat here every without fail on Christmas Eve and I can safely say that it is brilliant and I always look forward to going there. Admittedly, not the best interior, but the food is always great and consistantly provides the whole family with a thoroughly enjoyable meal. You certainly get what you pay for here, I think the reviewer for Time Out had probably been to Hakkasan recently and this is certainly not that..In fact, I think it is actually quite an unfair review. It's just what you expect when you want to go for a good Chinese meal, extremely good food with no frills. + If the restaurant is always frequented by London's chinese residents, they have to be doing something right. Give it a go and make your own judgement!

Mr Giorgis

I totally disagree: we often go to the Mandarin Kitchen and we are not tourists. We have never had a bad meal there: the lobster noodles are still the best in London. We love it.