Mainland China (Gurgaon) 5/10

Standard

As a well established, pan- India chain, one has certain expectations from Mainland China. Having sampled their fare in Saket (Delhi), Andheri (Bombay) and Calcutta, I was eager to try out their outlet in Gurgaon. I’m not a big fan of chinese food- just a personal choice, but I firmly believe that Mainland China’s standards of quality of food and service were among the best in the food industry.

Until I visited their Gurgaon branch in Cyber City for their lunch buffet.

Granted, it was a weekday and at lunchtime. But if you have seating available for say, a hundred people, it would stand to reason to have enough service staff to manage a hundred people. Sadly, that was missing. What was also missing were plates! At the beginning of the buffet counter, queues of guests could be seen, waiting for plates to arrive from the kitchen! Completely unacceptable. Despite assurances from who I could only assume to be be the service captain, we had to endure upto 15 minutes of wait-time before plates arrived.

On to the food. Appetizers were thankfully served on the table. Veg dimsums, some kind of fried potatoes, salt and pepper veggies and chicken lollipops. 3 veg and 1 non-veg?! While that would be good news for vegans, veggie lovers and other herbivores, its completely unacceptable for meat-lovers.

The spread otherwise was acceptable. Three mains of non-veg and veg, along with noodles and rice. Apart from the mustard fish, I can’t say that any of them warranted a second helping. The fish was well seasoned with the gravy having the right amount of sharpness from the mustard- not overpowering, nor flaccid. I didnt try the salads, but noted an acceptable spread of the greens. The desserts were a little confusing. While they had the standard icecream and darsan, for some reason, there was also a chocolate fountain and almost- empty bowls of what we assumed to be nuts. The caramel custard was limp and there was a strange peppercorn mousse which frankly, reminded me of the two rupee cakes you’d get at roadside chaiwallas as a kid in Calcutta.

The big let down, however, was the service. Only two servings of appetizers- after being repeatedly asked for the second. It took ages to get a can of coke and as mentioned above, there simply werent enough plates to serve at full capacity.

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 7
Ease of access 6
Service 2
Quality of food 4
Value for money 5
Would I go back there? Certainly, but only if all the other restaurants in the area shut down
Meal for two INR 1000 + taxes (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted

Top Tips:

  • Get a reservation. Definitely.
  • Getting there is not much of a pain- except for the toll plaza at the entrance to Gurgaon. The building no. is 9A- a little confusing for non cyber-city dwellers. Its at the first turn after the entrance to cyber-city. Valet parking is free.
  • Ala carte is recommended over the buffet.

 

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3 responses »

  1. Wow, you must have been there on an off day for them.

    I have been there about 5 times over the past couple of years, and have had a consistently good experience, both in terms of food and service…

  2. @ Rahul- possibly. However, I did have a good time at the calcutta MC during their lunch buffet- but that was a long time back

    @ Andy- their service and quiality of food during dinner (when they dont have a buffet) is far far better. Perhaps its just their inability to cope with large numbers of people.

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