Mandarin Express

Where it is: Ground Floor, RTC Restaurants Ltd, Property Bearing No 20, Church Street, MG Road, Bangalore.

Type of food served: Chinese

Pricing: Reasonable (Rs 500 w/o alcohol)

Introduction: We walked in to the restaurant expecting it to be expensive and were a little doubtful about the food. But it had to be reviewed and a sacrifice was necessary…We gave ourselves up in the name of foodies everywhere! What an amazing sacrifice it was. We loved it! Glorious flavours at glorious prices. A reasonable amount of variety. The meal in a bowl is really reasonable and worth the price. When the bill arrived, we laughed our lungs out (Arashi almost spewed my gulp of water) because the price was so reasonable: Rs 386 for two starters and one meal in a bowl. ON MG ROAD!! With ambience equal to that of a fine dining restaurant! Wow.

I like the interiors…they can be a tad psychedelic!

Ambience and Atmosphere: Red and black. Elegant and dignified. Comfortable sofa seats and simple decor. The place puts you at ease the moment you sit down. The music was generic and didn’t really go with the decor, but it was still catchy tunes which made you hum along. The plus point was it wasn’t too loud. A pretty artificial mandarin orange tree was a quirky but neat addition.

We had a grouse with this. It is a little all over the place. While the staff seem nice, they are a little lost. They took a little too much time to attend to us and were in their own world most of the time. Water wasn’t topped up regularly and it took a while to catch their attention. They usually saw you wave or send a meaningful look their way and spent some time trying to figure out if they should attend to us or if we were just indulging ourselves in making faces at them. If service improved, the place would be awesome. Also MAKE SURE they WRITE down your order…once they forgot a dish, because they tried to memorize our order.

Interesting Fact: There are four kinds of meals in a bowl. Two noodle dishes and two rice dishes. It’s a fast meal and if you work on MG road, this is an ideal place to pop down for a quick lunch. (Provided you badger the waiter to bring it quick.)

The Food and Drink:


Arashi: I’ve had the Manchow Soup here and it was really amazing! I love how they give us the crispy noodles separately, so one can add as much they like to it and it doesn’t get soggy in the bowl!! I kept going back for this soup and will continue to do so!

V: I’ve had two soups here: the Hot and Sour and the Manchow soup (both vegetarian). Preferred the Manchow soup to the hot and sour; the only difference between the two being that the hot and sour was a bit too spicy(for me). Their soup portions seem pretty huge; I think the 1/2 portion would have been more than enough. However, I absolutely loved the fried noodles that they serve on the side; you find yourself mindlessly munching on it, be it with the soup, or between your meals


Arashi: We had Crispy Honey Chilli Potatoes. I have never had potatoes done so beautifully. It was light on my stomach and the flavours melded together beautifully. The honey and chilli offset each other in a rare manner. I found myself sucking on each delicious morsel trying to make the most it. I never eat slow, but I really enjoyed this dish. The Corn and Watercress Dimsum was also perfect. The flavour here was just right and the lack of dipping sauce induced us to invent our own, so we added one drop of soya and one drop of chilli vinegar. I LOVE subtlety in flavour and I would order this dish again and again! The Barbeque Chicken Skewers were the best I’ve ever had!! Really Loved it!! 😀

Su: The Crispy Honey Chilli Potatoes were a champion dish for me! The taste was just lovely enough to establish a permanent place is your top ten cravings list. It was crunchy and had a great balance of the honey and chilli. I’m not a great fan of the sweetness of honey or too much spice so the taste that played on my tongue with this combo was quite epic! The Dimsums were also done well. They look big and filling but are not at all heavy and very pleasing to the tummy.

V: I think enough has been said about the Chilli Honey Sesame Potatoes; there’s really nothing more that I can add…it’s really one of those dishes that you wish would keep on coming. Alas, if it wasn’t for the bill…sigh. The Dimsums I had were just okay…a bit of a disappointment really. Still, it’s pretty filling and even when shared between two, you find yourself struggling to finish that lone dimsum that remains, waiting to be gobbled up.

Main Course:
Arashi: We ordered the Meal in a Bowl: Noodles and Vegetable in Hot Garlic Sauce. Yum.  For me, the spice level was just right. Not too spicy, but the right amount of burn in the mouth. I love the after taste! They did not skimp on the vegetables or the noodles, so Su and I were easily able to share a portion between us and be full. The garlic and chilli, blended with the bland vegetables…gave me a taste of heaven. The noodles had the right amount of bite. The dish was cooked to perfection. Seriously, for the price we paid, the quality of food was really good. I was the right amount of full 🙂

Su: The Noodles and Vegetable in Hot Garlic Sauce came in quite a decent bowl. It was sufficiently filling for Arashi and me but for those with big appetites I suggest you gorge on a full bowl all by yourselves. The spice levels must also be given considerable warning. If like me, you walk into a Chinese restaurant not expecting to eat food that will spice up your palate, you should be warned. I won’t deny that it has the good spicy taste but it was too much burn for my tongue. Apart from that, between the glass of water and mouthful of vegetable and noodles it made for a very satisfying meal.

It’s nice to find reasonable and quality places to eat in areas like MG road. Mandarin Express has made it to our list of top lunch spots! It seems a great place for a quick lunch with friends or to take loads of people for parties or birthdays, though you might have to reserve in advance!


Type: Restaurant

Ambience: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Food: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Service: 🙂 🙂

Meal types: Soup, dimsum, starter, main course, dessert.

Features: Beautiful flavours, quality food and reasonable prices.


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