It is sad to read in the combined reports, that there are just a few describing their experiences as dismal or awful. I can only assume that their expectations were a little too high or they dined on a bad night. I expect that, if you were to check their profile, you would likely find a lot of "poor" or "terrible" in their reviews of other places. For my part, for a busy and popular restaurant, without reading any reviews before visiting, it surpassed my expectations.
It was a busy Saturday night in the centre of Manchester and my invitation to the Sweet Mandarin came from the Wirral branch of the Coeliac Society who had arranged a banquet for 17 or 18 members who arrived by coach. My wife and I came into the city by car from Warrington and found plenty, albeit expensive, secure car parks, trams and railway stations are also within a short walking distance of the restaurant. Hidden away in the back streets of the northern city centre, it was welcoming and provided a refuge from the pouring rain.
A large table had been provided for our use and a copy of the gluten-free menu, that didn't vary much from the main menu. However, ours was a set banquet and I was yet to find out how large and varied it was! The place was very crowded by 8pm but it didn't stop the efficient staff from serving up dish after dish of ample servings, clearing the used dishes and empty glasses and even givg us a breathing space to hold a traditional society raffle. They also provided extra prizes in the form of their special gluten-free sauces that are available in shops and featured on Dragons Den (see the Sweet Mandarin web site)
All in all, an enjoyable evening of over-eating in a restaurant that I would recommend to anybody with a love of good food and good friendly service. Incidentally, you don't have to be a Coeliac, I'm not!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.