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“Delicious Chinese food”

Mandarin Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 91 Restaurants in Bountiful
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Asian, Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Utah's best Chinese restaurant. Providing a wide variety of wok prepared Chinese dishes. Featuring local produce in the summer/fall and top quality ingredients year round. If you have not been, you must, it will change your life.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

This is quite a drive from where we live, but the food is wonderful! It is almost always crowded, but that is because it is so delicious.

1  Thank Becky T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 - 154 of 193 reviews

Reviewed March 13, 2013

If you don't enjoy this place then you do not understand and know where the best Chinese food in Utah is to be found. Go back to one of your favorite chains or Mickey D's. No one does it better from Chinatown in NY to SF than the Mandarin. This is the best there is in between. It is a pearl right here in our backyards. We owe a lot to the Skedros family for one of the top 25 Chinese restaurants in all of the USA. If you complain about the long lines just go early. We get there about 5:30 and are immediately seated. What's not to like about the Mandarin? I am amazed at anyone who in not thrilled to be served there.

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1  Thank George F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

It is usually a trip to the zoo going to the Mandarin, they don't take reservations except for groups of 8 or more, so it is like being at an amusement park with a sea of people waiting to get in. The food is good - really rich sauces, delicious chinese food.

The service is just OK, nothing special in the least.

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2  Thank Tyler K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Popular place, sometimes I'll order dinner to go just for a nice dinner at home. Love their food, friendly people, authentic atmosphere.

1  Thank skinzer1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

For years, I have heard my friends, acquaintances, and food critics raved about this place. But since it is a little out of the way to go on a whim from Salt Lake plus it has been universally panned as hard to get into unless you have a large party (they don't take reservation for small parties), I went years without this. Especially since I have so many choices in the Salt Lake valley to choose from.

I have to give you a little background. My mom was a cook at Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants while I was growing up and got to hang out in the kitchen a lot. Plus, I put myself through college working at a Chinese restaurant so I know a few things about Chinese food. I can assure you that what they served at the Mandarin is not traditional Chinese but the type invented in Cali during the gold rush/railroad building time. Or the type you find in a mall cafeteria or the Panda. In fact, I much prefer those two places to this for this kind of comfort food. They know who their target audience is and never disappoints. They also price it accordingly.

This place is pretentious at best. The decor is reminiscent of a traditional upscale Chinese restaurant but that's where the similarity ends. There's nothing upscale or Chinese here. In fact, I was the closest thing to Chinese in that restaurant based on the fact that I was painfully aware from the many stares that I was the only Asian other than the one cook I happened to spy through the kitchen takeout window. We called ahead of time to see how bad the wait was and was told they don't take reservation but would put our names down in a waiting list. Huh? So we got there at our estimated time and told to wait another 25 minutes. If we hadn't called ahead, it would've been 1.5 hours. The waiting area was standing room only with about 80+ squeezed into a space meant for 35. They finally sat us down in a tiny booth and recited the special. We went for the appetizer sample of salmon spring role, crab wonton, and potstickers. All in all, the potstickers was too doughy and lacking flavor, the wonton was okay but reminds me of a mediocre crab salad wrapped in a crunchy wonton, and the salmon spring had an overwhelmingly fishy flavor to the point that I gagged. I normally love salmon in most form. When we ordered, I discovered that rice doesn't come with the food. This is the equivalent of buying a burger and having to pay for the buns separately. We ordered 3 dishes to share, a garlic chicken, satay beef on a bed of spinach, and Kung pao noodles. Overall, had they reduced about a quarter of a cup of oil and 2 tablespoons from each dish, I may have rated them higher. The garlic chicken was over salted, had an imbalance of water chestnuts and somehow oddly lacking in flavor. The Satay beef was almost close to inspired with the exception that that the squash and onions were extremely undercook and swimming in about a cup of oil. They broke the rule of not cooking the veggies separately from the meat and then throwing the meat back in. The noodles had no "pao" to it. In fact, you would've had to hunt it down since portion wise, noodles was only a 10th of it in the whole dish. It had 3 times more water chestnuts than noodles! I had to ask a passing waiter ( I swear, they move at the speed of light and was hard to make eye contact with) whom I almost had to stick my foot out to trip for sriracha sauce or something. She looked confused for a few seconds trying to figure out what I just said. Since there were no condiments whatsoever on the table plus her expression, I thought that I was in for a no. She offered up chilli oil instead. Yes! I thought I finally hit a break. I have to admit, the speed here is fast and she brought it out almost immediately. Then she proceeded to almost had a heart attack watching me scoop a couple tablespoons into each dish after I tested out how hot the chilli oil was (mild). Judging by the ala cart nature, I thought I was going to get charged for the chilli oil too but was spared. Because of he copious amount of oil, we ordered Jasmine tea as well, just in case we never see the waitress again. Again, she gave us the same confused look as earlier but walked off. We must be really demanding, I thought. She came back a few minutes later with a cheap metal teapot that was about 500 degrees and one tea cup for the two of us. Before we had a chance to speak, she bolted off. It took another 10 minutes before we flagged someone else down to get a second cup. It didn't matter anyway, the Chernobyl temperature prevented us from consuming the tea until 20 or so minutes later, burnt and all. We wouldn't have bothered drinking it but the meal desperately needed it. We were having the most fun conversation about the meal and the place, although not kindly. It was beyond laughable and we were dying to get outside to really speak our minds to each other. The check came really soon but they took forever to process our bill. We normlally tip 20% for average service but in this case, we had to leave 15%. Having worked in the restaurant business, I understand how hard the staff works and do not have the heart to leave anything lower unless the staff openly offends me.

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3  Thank SaltLakeDweller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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