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“Check your bill.”

Pearl of the Orient
Ranked #182 of 1,214 Restaurants in Cardiff
Cuisines: Chinese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups, Business meetings, Families with children, Kids
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Since opening in 2001 Pearl of the Orient is seen by many as Cardiff's Premier Oriental restaurant. Situated in the opulent surroundings of Cardiff Bay's Mermaid Quay offers discerning customers the finest Cantonese, Peking, Malaysian and Szechwan as well as catering for Vegetarians in contemporary relaxed surroundings.
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Check your bill.”
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Got treated to a Groupon deal lunch meal at a really posh Chinese in Cardiff Bay. Meal was a bit like the curate's egg, but on the whole, a positive experience. Now, the whole deal had been covered by our Groupon voucher. We also had a lemonade, a diet coke and a cup of coffee, which I knew we'd have to pay extra for. The bill came. £9.30. Wife took the bill and notices a charge of £3.30 (optional tax) had been added @10%. She asked about this and was told that it was the optional service charge.........but the 10% had been calculated against the cost of the whole hypothetical meal before the Groupon discount, not the price of the Groupon deal. We declined to pay.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Philip E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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400 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
347 reviews
200 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Lunchtime Visit”
Reviewed March 18, 2014

I love chinese and I like to eat it at lunchtime although it can be difficult to find a restaurant open at this time, enter The Pearl of the Orient Restaurant at Mermaid Quay. We ate from the lunchtime menu, £8.75 for 2 courses, bargain, Fried mixed dim sum, delicious, King prawn sizzler for the main and sticky Jasmine rice, fabulous. Great surroundings, great staff and really great food.

Visited March 2014
Thank PrimalSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales, United Kingdom
1 review
“Struggling to find positives”
Reviewed March 16, 2014 via mobile

Lukewarm food, slow service (1hour 45minutes) to have a 3 course set lunch menu, of which the only dessert was ice cream, and general limited menu choices. We bought this meal from a groupon voucher and would have been disappointed to have paid full price. Also didn't like that they attempted to charge us a £6 'optional tip' on the end of the bill.

Visited March 2014
Thank Hungry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Nice food, average service, not a bad experience”
Reviewed March 11, 2014 via mobile

I bought a KGB voucher for a 3-course meal for two at £19.
When we arrived, the waiter asked for the voucher at the door before he seated us, this felt a little awkward.
Once seated in the main restaurant, he gave us a separate menu to the main one, and a wine list, then took our menus away.
We were confused but then realised that it was a set menu and they would bring everything.

Wine was nice but expensive as everything was.

The waiter informed us that we purchased a two course meal, not three. This wasn't true, so after talking with him, I just agreed with him as he wouldn't take no for an answer. 5 minutes later, he came back and apologised and said the voucher had been misprinted, we can have the ice cream if we want.

We ordered 1/2 duck as an extra which was £5per person- not a bad price. Thee was plenty of duck which was tasty and crunchy on the outside.
Starter was a mixed hors-d-oeuvres which included two spare ribs, 2 slices sesame prawn toasts, seaweed, and 2 spring rolls.
Everything on this platter was tasty, although greasy as it had all been fried.

Main course was salt and garlic calamari, beef in black bean sauce and a spicy pork dish. Also a choice of jasmine rice or pineapple fried rice.

The beef dish was lovely, the meat itself was cooked medium which was perfect for us.
The pork dish was tasty but perhaps too spicy to each too much of.
I enjoyed the calamari dish but my partner didn't as she doesn't like it usually.

Perhaps it would have been beneficial if we could have chosen our own items from a set menu, that way we could have picked things we enjoy.

Overall we enjoyed it here, but we have been to many Chinese restaurants which are of the equivalent or even better quality and cheaper.

Thank chantelleandmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A little pricey but excellent food”
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Ended up here after not being able to find anywhere else we particularly fancied around Cardiff Bay.

The restaurant itself looks ok, although could do with an update. When we arrived it was about 8pm and there was only one other table with people sat at it.

The staff were extremely helpful and friendly and were very quick with their service. The tables are set with chopsticks only but knives and forks provided on request (I got away with using chopsticks most of the time, but had to give up in the end)

For starters I had shallow fried dumplings, which were excellent. My partner had fragrant and aromatic spare ribs, which she also enjoyed.

For my main I had sizzling spicy mixed seafood. After ordering I was a little concerned it would include whole baby squid but luckily it was just tentacles. This tasted very nice and was still sizzling away when brought to the table. Would have it again without question.

My partner initially ordered hong kong roasted crispy pork belly, but had to change this after the waitress returned to say they didn't have any left. She then had the hong kong assorted roasted meat platter. When this arrived it was exceptional, she said the pork included in it was the best she had ever had. Her only complaint was that some of the meat was quite fatty and there wasn't more pork!

We both had dessert after seeing they included more than is traditionally available at a Chinese restaurant. I had the profiteroles which I enjoyed and my partner had chocolate fudge cake, which she also enjoyed.

When paying for the meal we were a little surprised at how expensive the whole thing was, but had no complaints considering the quality of the food. We were slightly put off by a tip being included on the bill automatically, however it was the amount we would have given anyway.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Matthew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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