Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mandarin Reading

Mandarin in Reading is probably the best Chinese lunch buffet place around where the buffet also includes Sushi. I do like Feng Shui in Chelmsford and I think the Sushi there is better, but their buffet is very static, the same dishes every time. At the Mandarin, there is always something different available apart from your standard American/Chinese dishes. The place is spotless, service is very good and the dishes get refilled very quickly and they are fairly busy so nothing sits out for very long. The sushi is OK, Nigiri is fairly sparse, today it was only salmon and some whitefish.

This is the Sushi selection after I snagged all the salmon nigiri. Kind of a slow day today so it didn't get refilled until close to 1:00PM. The pickled ginger was really good.

The hot and sour soup here is something to stay away from so I tried the Wonton Soup instead. Nice broth with some spinach leaves included, the wontons themselves was fairly thick skinned, but the actual filling was good.

I try to get here just before noon so I get a chance to get some nigiri. I snagged all the salmon pieces available and a few pieces of the white fish. In front, there is a roll with salmon and tuna on top, crab and avocado inside and a tempura shrimp. That was all the tuna I saw.

Appetizer time, chicken wing was nice, next was something labeled Chinese Steak but was, in fact, a nice crispy fish that was served with a dipping sauce. The Shumai was OK, greatly helped out by the really nice chili oil. The Crab Rangoon had a tasty filling and was nicely fried. The vegetable tempura could have been crispier, but this is a buffet with dishes sitting out.

The shrimp with leeks (top) was pretty much a soggy mess with the shell on shrimp that wasn't really edible, it was like trying to eat shrimp wrapped in cellophane. Shell on shrimp is OK, but it has to be crispy. Beef Ball Delight was actually delightful and tasty! Rainbow Beef not so much, chewy beef but the zucchini was nice. The best dish by far was the Shrimp Chow Foon, tender shrimp with crisp veggies in a light and tasty sauce.

Make sure to check out the nice Koi Pond at the entrance, the fish certainly knows where the food is coming from!

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