Mandarin Cuisine – Blackwood, NJ
The dining scene in New Jersey is very different than many different areas. I find a lot of hidden gems tucked far back in old underutilized strip malls that you would never think a decent restaurant would be. Looking to try my luck with such a scenario I came upon Mandarin Cuisine (MC). Upon entering MC it is easy to notice that take-out is MC’s bread and butter, but nonetheless, MC’s has a nicely decorated and large dining area to eat. An older woman was the server the night I dined at MC and she was fabulous, even though some bumps were in the service received. Her personality made you feel that you were personally invited to MC by her and that MC was her own home. MC started things off well, as one of my weaknesses is those delicious and greasy crispy egg noodle chips with duck sauce.
For my entrée I would choose Subgum Wonton, which consisted of fried wontons served on top the usual melody of Chinese vegetables, roast pork, chicken, and beef topped with a Cantonese style brown sauce. The meal was above average for your usual “take-out” style Chinese food, but where MC really shined was the ability to provide service that was so far and above anything you would expect on a normal night from a place you had never been to. I would not go out of my way to visit MC or call them a “must” visit, but what I can tell you is that if I had had an itch for Chinese food and was around the area again, MC would be a welcoming place to dine.