Monday, November 12, 2012

Family-friendly Mandarin has something for everyone

Going to a buffet satisfies the needs of all guests when gathering your family for dinner or a group for a special occasion.

In my opinion, Mandarin is one of the best buffets available to residents of Southwestern Ontario. With more than 130 items, there truly is something at the various stations for everyone. From chicken balls to prime rib to butter tarts, all taste buds will be satisfied. And with a sundae bar and two dessert tables, so will everyone’s sweet tooth.

On a recent trip to the Mandarin, we were a group of four and a half – that is Chris, my brother, my Mom, myself, and Hannah. We all gathered to celebrate my brother’s recent condo purchase, the first home he will own. And although we all left stuffed and extremely satisfied, we each had a different way of navigating the buffet.

Chris has a system for each plate – arranged either by colour or food group. My Mom always picks up a chocolate-covered strawberry, whatever round she is on. I’m spontaneous - I walk around and put on my plate whatever catches my eye. And my brother just really, really, REALLY likes Mandarin mocktails – a tasty way to clean your palate between plates.

Chris' brown plate.

It was Hannah’s first time at a buffet, and although my Mom and I picked up a few things for her to try off our plates, no one was kinder to her than our waiter Gary. He brought Hannah her very own water cup and her first-ever croissant that she absolutely loved.

I went back for more helpings of sushi than I’d like to admit. But the smoked salmon sashimi and the spicy salmon rolls were too delicious to only pick up a few. Fresh, warm waffles have always been my favourite way to round out a Mandarin meal – complete with icing sugar, whipped cream and strawberry jam, you just can’t go wrong. To even out my fried chicken wings, chicken balls and scallops, I made sure to put lots of healthy options on my plate too, including raw vegetables, cooked vegetables and plenty of fruit. All of the food smelled, looked and most importantly, tasted, delicious.

One of my spontaneous plates.
The staff was super friendly, and quick on their feet. The waiters keep a keen eye on the tables – your beverage glass is never empty, and your finished plate always disappears before you return with your new one. From the moment you enter the restaurant you are greeted with a smile, and the staff make you feel at home right up until the moment you receive a mint before you leave.

My brother and I celebrating his new home ownership
with some tasty mocktails.
The restaurant has clientele of all ages – from kids to senior citizens. The atmosphere is definitely family-friendly, and there’s a feeling of excitement and awe as everyone navigates the buffet searching for tasty food treasures. The d├ęcor takes you to a place away from Toronto, and the fish tanks and fishpond within the Scarborough location (at Eglinton and Birchmount) that we visited are popular with younger guests.

I didn’t realize this before, but take-out and delivery are also available at every Mandarin location.

I can’t wait to go back to Mandarin for another visit – perhaps my Mom’s work Christmas party. But then I’ll be smart and leave my skinny jeans at home, and wear something a little more flexible around my waist in order to consume all the delicious goodies that await.

Disclosure: Although this post has generously been sponsored by Mandarin, the opinions and language are all my own.

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.


  1. We love the Mandarin for the same reasons your family does - there's something for everyone. Having been only a couple of times in my life to Mandarin, I will say that every time I've gone I liked it (and I'm Asian so I'm a bit pickier when it comes to authentic Asian food).

    Our daughter JUST discovered buffets and she LOVES it. She announces to everyone her favourite place to go is one where she can "make my own plate. I don't have to put chicken on it if I don't want to" ;) So it looks like Mandarin will be our hangout soon.

    And I've never tried a mocktail. Will have to try one next time.

    Congrats to your brother for the condo purchase and hurray for Hannah trying her first ever croissant!

    1. LOL your daughter is so cute!

      Maybe we can have our families meet at a Mandarin sometime and we can consume some mocktails together :)

  2. We don't have a Mandarin close to where we love but my Dh loves Chinese food and I can easily see how much he would like this place. Thanks for sharing.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...