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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Mainland China Buffet (Lunch)

Buffets are generally a good idea for foodies. A wide range of options, right from starters to the desserts and unlimited quantity, all for a fairly reasonable price.
Mainland China is easily one of the best Chinese restaurant chains in Pune. A-la-carte dining at Mainland China is always a delight, however only one of their outlets in Pune, the one on Boat club road, has a lunch buffet. After many years of wanting to go there for the lunch buffet, finally I did venture there, and as always, was delighted.

The ambience in Mainland China is very fitting with the Chinese theme. Chinese lamps dangling from the ceiling and large chinese paintings on the wall blend very nicely with the overall ambience.
A nice place to go for dinner with the family and also maybe on a date. Not very romantic lighting or even mood lighting but then the food will make the date all the more splendid. There was quite a din in the place but that did not make having your own conversations difficult, and not unnoticeable.

A quick run through of all the dishes and how they were.

On the Menu that day
-- Chicken Siumai - steamed chicken dumplings. Very nice.
-- Jiang's chilli chicken - Amazing fried chickens pieces in a chilli sauce. Also very nice. My compliments to Jiang!

-- Veg mini roll - mini Veg. spring rolls. Strictly so-so. Avoidable.
-- Crispy potato - A must have. Potatoes, fries and crispy, the best formula as always.
-- Veg. Basil dumpling - I myself did not like this very much; not a basil fan, the vegetarians around did seem to enjoy this.
-- Eight treasure soup(Veg. and Non.Veg.)- Worth having for sure.

Main Course

-- Tossed Veg. dumpling chilli soya -
-- Sapo tofu veg.  -  A must have. Never has tofu been made in such a spectacular manner!
-- Mix. Veg. in hot garlic sauce - How can any Chinese veg. meal be complete without a hot garlic sauce dish. Pretty neat.
-- Okra egg plant in black pepper sauce. - Did not try this. Hey! I have limited room in my stomach!
-- Four treasure veg. fried rice- Not comparable to their Lotus rice, but good taste none the less. If you can eat the rice with any gravy and love it, that my friend, is a good rice, and that is exactly what this is.

Non. Veg.
-- Lamb in Peking style sauce ~ Awesome. Soft lamb pieces in a brown sauce. Loved it. However, if you do not like the inherent lamb flavour/fragrance, you may not like the taste of the lamb chunks.
-- Crab in garlic butter sauce ~ Not a fan of Crab. Crab piece was okay, gravy not extraordinary.
-- Chicken in Sichuan chilli sauce ~ Pretty good, especially in front of the other dishes.
-- Prawn in Chilli oyster sauce ~ Prawn pieces a little chewy. Could have been better. Overall not bad.
-- Fish in Yellow bean sauce ~ Strictly okay, not very impressed.
-- Mixed meat fried rice ~   Second only to their Lotus rice, and good to have without gravies too.
-- Chicken hakka noodles ~ Not extraordinary.

A choice of mock-tail or a glass of beer.

Fresh fruits

Not a wide range of choices in the desserts section, however some of the chocolate mousse and pastries are worth having. Avoid anything which is mango/musk melon flavored. Some of the fresh fruits were tasty, especially the pineapple.

Rs. 595 + taxes per head. A very reasonable price taking into account that there is an option for beer and seafood included. I want to say that the buffet was extraordinary, but can't since not everything was awesome, as I would have liked it to be.
Recommended none the less. It is a must try.

A-la-carte dining at Mainland China is very expensive, on average Rs. 800-1000 per head.

A-la-Carte must haves
In case you go to Mainland China and have a-la-carte, then you must try their crispy fried vegetables, Lotus rice, and the dumpling they serve with a thin brown sauce (the name escapes me at the moment).

The management at Mainland China do seem to be very particular about their image and dedicated to their work. We had put in a comment in  the feedback form about their manager and the Senior manager immediately came to us to discuss the feedback. Such prompt response from management or corporates is very pleasing to see and experience.

I saw a placard behind the toilet door when exiting. The placard mentioned that if we wanted anything, we could ask the management for it and they would arrange for it. For e.g. if you wanted a sewing kit while dining there. There were a few more interesting examples which I can't seem to remember. This is a very unique and nice gesture. Kudos to them.

Mainland China website

Address : City Point,
               Gr. Floor, Dhole Patil Road,
               Boat Club,

Tel :      (020)
66013030, 30463605 , 30463606
Email :   
Timings :  12:00 pm - 3:30 pm & 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

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