After seeing the ad for Mainland China on TV, Hubby was enormously excited to know that Mainland China had opened up a new restaurant in our neighbourhood. After haggling with me over visiting the place, we finally decided that we would get a take-away from there on the day preceding our Move.

The D-Day:

Finally. After a full day of back-breaking sorting and packing, the time to sample the wares of Mainland China had arrived. My cousin H and wife (S) were also joining us, so it added to the festivities. By around 9 pm, H came and we decided to go to our destination. Since, we were only going to order a take-away, Hubby and I saw no reason to change out of our dresses (that we had worn all day long and had all the dust and sweat from the packing). We wrapped up Little One against the cold and we all set forth in H’s car.

We reached the address in around 10 minutes, and were astounded to see the throngs of people (ahem, very well dressed ones!) hanging around. We couldn’t fathom whether they were waiting for a seat or just standing around.

With great reluctance Hubby and I got out of the car, each trying to hide behind the other to cover up their shabby clothes (Thank God, at least H and S were impeccably dressed). Finally Little One decided the matter for us by screaming loudly as he was getting shoved around as we played Hide-and Seek.

We (meaning , S and me) confidently strutted to the front door of the restaurant. There was a very charming Oriental lady (who I assumed to be the hostess) and asked for the menu card to order a take-away.

The restaurant was packed and many more were waiting for a table. Most of the waiters and hostesses were Orientals and added to the charm of the place. There was another walled partition which had water falling over it and made the place look very cosy and posh.

The menu card arrived at last. It was bound in rich brown leather and a huge thing with lots of pictures of mouth-watering dishes. After searching futilely along the right end of the pages, we could not find the prices to these yummy dishes. And that was when we suddenly spotted it. The prices were written out in long hand in words, right below the name of each dish! Something priced at Rs 340 was written as “Rupees Three Hundred and Forty”. This was probably to avoid the shock that the numbers may do to the uninitiated to the prices at Mainland China. And we had skipped that line thinking it was the description of the dish. The prices, alas!, were not particularly mouth-watering.

Well, after a great deal of poring over the menu card (with Little One trying to reach out to touch the wall water fountain every two minutes), we finally decided to order the following –

  1. Mixed Meat Fried Rice – Regular
  2. Roast Chicken Fried Rice – Regular
  3. Chicken Noodles
  4. Honey Dipped Lemon Chicken
  5. Chicken in white wine sauce and garlic
  6. Steamed Chicken Dim Sums

Notice that the size given is regular. The only portion sizes available at Mainland China are ‘Small’ and ‘Regular’. Small would be just enough for one person, while ‘Regular’ is just about right for 2.

And graciously taking our orders and giving us the time of preparation as around 25 minutes, we decided to wait outside. There is a nice patio in front of the restaurant, with a few chairs strewn around. So, there we took up station to wait for our dishes. There were three reasons why we did this – 1) to avoid the patrons hearing our stomachs growling, 2) to get some fresh air, 3) to prevent Little One from running around inside the restaurant.

As we were waiting, we could also get a glimpse of the other guests’ plates, and we engaged in trying to guess what they were eating. Soon enough, the 25 minutes were up, and the steaming hot packets were delivered to us right on time.

We raced home and before long, we were in front of the table with all the packets in front of us. As we ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ over each dish, we suddenly realised that one of the dishes were missing. And we had something else in its place – a small dish with green shoots floating in some flavoured water.

Immediately we checked the bill – and there it was! The ‘green shoot’ dish was supposed to Asparagus soaked in White Wine. Hmph! This is what comes of signing the bill in semi-darkness and not checking the bill. Nevertheless, we were outraged. How dare they bungle up our order! H immediately called up the restaurant. And when they repeated back our order to us, we were relieved that the order was the same one that we had given , and it was they who had bungled up our delivery. They apologised and said that our correct dish would be delivered to our home in 20 minutes.

And we waited. And boy, were we rewarded for our wait! Within 20 minutes they delivered the dish to our home and gave us a delicious dessert (Hot Wafer Rolls stuffed with Chocolate, YUM!) for free, as well a second helping of all their extra dressings like kimchi and some salads. Plus, they refused to take back the Asparagus dish. Well, I think that speaks for their quality.

Needless to say, we dug in and found all the dishes were scrumptious (yes, even the Asparagus one), and were soon licking our fingers. The dessert was simply divine.

Verdict – Definitely recommended for their impeccable service, delicious food and quality of dining and ambience.

Bon Appetit!

(N.B – Sorry I couldn’t add any pics. I didn’t have my camera with since I was handling Little One. Maybe another time folks!)