This place is an enigma. The location is unassuming, parking is difficult, little if any advertising, yet it's always busy, and if you talk to anyone in the E Chester County area and ask where they prefer to have Chinese food, most would say The Mandarin. It has what you would expect and not expect from an Asian restaurant. Absent are the gaudy dragons and Budas, gone as well is the noisy chatter and bustle of waiters and other staff. Present is the quiet polite manner of the staff, and the muted but elegant décor. The quiet is occasionally interrupted by a soft gong which is struck to announce an order of Peking Duck emerging from the kitchen.
The cuisine here is always well prepared and attractively adorned when presented to you. I think I've had just about everything on the menu and have never once been disappointed. Before we left for our winter vacation I ordered my favorite, the whole fish - no matter how you ask them to prepare it, it's the bomb. So go out of your way to find it. It's worth it.