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“Overrated, overpriced, underwhelming”
Review of Sweet Mandarin

Sweet Mandarin
Ranked #465 of 2,398 Restaurants in Manchester
Price range: $21 - $49
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Families with children, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Description: Sweet Mandarin stands out on the Manchester restaurant scene for its vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere, modern Chinese menu and killer cocktails. Located in the chic Design House on Copperas Street, the award-winning restaurant is based on a simple philosophy: quick service, delicious pan Asian cooking and value for money. Whether you're in the mood for a memorable meal in the minimalist dining room, or after-work cocktails, celeb-spotting and Chinese tapas in the bar – this is the place for you. Working in a theatrical exhibition kitchen, the high-energy chefs use Mandarin style woks and traditional techniques to prepare classic dishes such as beef with sweet peppers and black bean sauce; Shanghai vegetables with garlic and chilli sauce; and General Tse's sweet and sour chicken
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Really surprised at the positive reviews seen here. I've been on several occasions with friends in the last couple of years, and we've agreed it's inconsistent in quality, but the most recent trip put the nail in Sweet Mandarin's coffin for us. On arrival the place was more than half empty yet we were given a table at the door - freezing. We asked for another and were seated right next to the loos - just unnecessary, as there were no major bookings. Drinks - we went for the cocktail menu as it was a special occasion - this was a mistake. Our first choices met with 'we haven't got the ingredients'; second choices - lukewarm (never had a non-chilled cocktail), ice-free and blatantly a readymade syrup mix. They came without the fresh lime/lemon described (and needed - they tasted vile) and on asking for a slice of lime - none of this either (really??) and offered, ahem, cordial. So - cocktails were awful at £6.50 starting price.
Food - nice starters of S&P tofu/spring rolls, but staff interrupted our eating and conversation about 4 times asking if they could be taken away (in about a 10 minute period). We clearly hadn't finished - even had a comedy tug-of-war on the last occasion. This was typical of careless and unwelcoming service throughout, from seating to ordering and to the bitter end...
Mains dumped unceremoniously in the wrong places were underwhelming and about half the size/half the remembered amounts/variety of fresh veg and seasonings they were a year ago. And lukewarm. I have had so much better, livelier food at many of Manchester's cheap & cheerful takeaways - and never seen a single portion of steamed broccoli at £6.50.
By the end of the meal we were as keen to go as the staff seemed for us to leave - which is still a mystery as the place was still more than half-empty and we were a party of 3. I was annoyed that service charge had already been added to the (hefty) bill as I would not have added more than a token round-up (out of habit). We paid up anyway, and to add insult to injury a member of staff - before we had our coats on - blocked our exit counting out and checking money and bill, note by note and item by item, at the table. I've never seen that before and I have been about a bit. Not even a 'goodnight' on the way out. We really aren't going back. But I don't think they care.

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2  Thank MancsMrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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438 - 442 of 649 reviews

Reviewed February 3, 2013

Decieded to visit for my birthday,having heard good reviews and course watched them on the f word.
Food was amazing, flavourful and plenty of it! I had the firecracker prawns and other half had the volcano chicken. Very spicy but delicious. The service was great too-the waiter asked if we were celebrating anything on arrival and then I was given a birthday card, a cake after the meal and a gift of the beautiful sweet chili sauce they sell. Cocktails are good too. It's a small restaurant so would defo recommend booking.
For the quality of food and service prices are very reasonable.
Has retained the small family run atmosphere too, nothing pretentious here unlike many other restaurants in Manchester!

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Thank katiemuka33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Top nosh, great service, cooked by a family business. Can't fault it, didn't wait long for table. Cocktails are good. Try the Cantonese chicken. Yum

Thank hel1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

This place is fantastic - our first visit this weekend and it most definitely will not be our last... food was gorgeous, service excellent - such friendly people.

I've never been a big lover of chinese food, always found it a bit bland, any enjoyment coming for me with with the starter - this place blew away this mindset, both our main courses were delicious and I can't wait to explore the menu further.

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Thank Karl K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Been many times and it just gets better. Family place run by Tse sisters who are going on to ever more exciting things on Masterchef and a range of sauces.

Nothing is too much trouble whatever time of day. Lisa is usually on hand to greet and recommend. The food is good family chinese cooking and extremely good value.

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Thank Ed N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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