Mandarin is a Chinese restaurant on Joel Street, Northwood Hills, serving up both Peking and Cantonese classic dishes, as well as some Szechuan favourites. I was kindly invited to experience it and we arrived to a stunning vibrant venue, with chic interiors, having been recently refurbished to a pretty high standard.
There was a temperature check on arrival and a hand sanitiser on each table. There were also screens dividing each of the tables where we were seated which was re-assuring to see. Staff were all wearing face shields and we filled out a form with our details for track and trace.
The menu is extensive and caters well for Vegetarians too, which was lovely to see. We decided to order our classic Chinese favourites, starting with Fried Bean Curd with Chilli and Salt. The bean curd had a crisp exterior and a pillowy soft interior and I loved the flavourful garnishing of red chillies, spring onions and garlic that it came with. It was a decent portion size too.
We also indulged in the Pork Dumplings, which were grilled and really tasty. I can’t not have dumplings whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant and these were delicious.
For our intermediate course we decided to have the Aromatic Duck with Pancakes and this was incredible. We could tell that the duck was really high quality and it was crisped to perfection and was tender and not dry at all. The pancakes were perfect too and we really thoroughly enjoyed this course. In fact, it was both of our favourites from the evening. If you love Aromatic Duck and Pancakes this is definitely a must order dish here.
For mains we chose the Chicken in Szechuan sauce accompanied with Garlic Fried Rice and this was also really tasty. The sauce was lovely and flavourful with a nice fiery kick.
We were so full by this point and so skipped dessert but they did have fantastic options for dessert such as Mochi and Fritters.
All in all we really enjoyed our meal and found the service to be slick, attentive and adhering to Covid measures well. The food portions were really generous and perfect for sharing. I really enjoyed everything that we tried and I know we will be back to have more of that Aromatic duck as it was excellent.
The restaurant is spacious, contemporary and has a really lovely vibe. It would be great for family meals, date nights or even celebrations for special occasions. The decor is of a different class to many similar establishments in the wider area and the location is really convenient too – just a stone’s throw away from Northwood Hills station.
You can find Mandarin at 9 Joel St, Northwood Hills, HA6 1NU
I was a guest of Mandarin but all views and photos are my own.