A Taste of Mandarin is originally built in 1993 right after Gaisano Country Mall was constructed from the family behind the Gaisano Capital Group. I’ve passed by and seen A Taste of Mandarin several times before but have never thought of trying it out. I always have hesitations to give it a go because of its stunning facade. From the outside, the place looks like it’s screaming “$$$” sign. Right at the entrance, an extensive Chinese Buddha will greet you, along with other decors that depict classic Shanghai vibe. Everything from the lights to the chairs up to the carpet is designed intricately that’s just fitting to the restaurant’s image.
It was my first time to experience a traditional Chinese banquet meal. A Chinese lauriat party is like a sit-down banquet usually done on special occasions. For those who have a deep-rooted love for Chinese food may very well understand what I am talking about. With the help of a lazy susan, the food was easily shared to us by simply rotating the glass tray at the center of the table. I immediately remember my childhood days when my grandparents also had a wooden version of a lazy susan on the table. There was so much to eat that one fine dinner time. The variation of each cuisine was melodious, it totally changed my initial perspective of Chinese food.
Anyway, I will go over every food presented at the banquet with special notations particularly to some that delighted my taste buds.
The dish that stood out for me was their Patatim. This dish is perfect for all serious pork lovers, combined with the pillow-soft steamed buns. I enjoyed making my own version of siopao. Succulent meat to the bones!
I have never eaten anything beyond dimsum, noodles, and the common Chinese food so when the Buddah Soup was served, my jaw dropped. It’s a Chinese staple that is know for its rich taste served in a gigantic bowl full of top notch ingredients that you can think of. It’s generously filled with shark’s fin, abalone, and sea cucumber. Honestly, I didn’t quite comprehend the mixture of the flavors inside my mouth. It tasted like all 7 wonders of the world is in this dish! I could have eaten more of this dish but there were other food to try and I can hardly take everything already.
The best Chinese tender beef dish I’ve had in a while. It’s lips-smacking good in every spoon after another.
This soup is really very good. It’s a great alternative to the more popular Bird’s Nest soup.
This can be an appetizer or a main dish already. It’s an assortment of hot and cold options that instantly boost your appetite. It has sweet roasted pork, soy chicken, vegetable puffs and seaweeds + ginger sauce. A truly remarkable feast in one platter.
The Hot Prawn Salad was another highlight. I enjoyed the sweet and creamy mix of fried prawns and fruit salad. There’s a play of different textures that made it so fun to eat.
The Lemon Chicken didn’t look anything extraordinary, but after one bite I instantly became a convert. It was really good. The meat was fried perfectly crisp on the outside and the tangy sauce just compliments well to the chicken strips.
This is one of the common Chinese desserts. The soupy peanut flavor is very good and I enjoyed every bit of it.
Plump Australian scallop that’s served on a shell.
A very refreshing dessert.
I now understand why A Taste of Mandarin is still going at it even after all these years. Aside from being a mainstay in Gaisano Country Mall, which is very accessible to the public, it has a big dining area and friendly staff. One of the first Chinese restaurants to offer traditional Chinese banquet setting that still remains on top of their game. Infact, even more favorable than their current competitors. So whenever it’s a big celebration or an intimate gathering with friends and family, I would recommend A Taste of Mandarin without thinking twice.
Aside from big servings, you can also expect the authenticity of their food using top of the line ingredients to deliver excellent quality of food every time. Why settle for anything less when you can have the best, right?
A Taste Of Mandarin Chinese Restaurant
2F Left Wing, Gaisano Country Mall, Banilad, Cebu City
Operating Hours: Lunch 10AM-2PM, Dinner 5PM-10PM
Phone: (032) 232-4845