REVIEW: Mandarin Taste
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
2/13/13 at 9:49 AM
Chun “Sally” Yau said she usually can tell if diners have spent time in China by what they order at her new Mandarin Taste restaurant, which features authentic Chinese cuisine.
“An American man ordered a whole-fish dish, and I said, ‘You know, that’s really hot,’” said Yau. “He said, ‘I know what it is; bring it on.’
“Even when Chinese customers come in, I ask what part of China they are from because I usually know the way they like their food.”
Yau is from Beijing in the northern part of China, where many dishes are prepared spicy-hot.
“A lot of it is like Szechuan cooking, but it doesn’t have to be hot,” Yau said. “We can make the food mild. Just let us know.”
We veered to the mild to mildly spicy side of things when we ordered home-style mu xu pork ($8.95) and salt and pepper shrimp ($10.95).
Mu xu pork is a traditional northern Chinese dish, and mine was delicious. It included thin, tender slices of pork, wood ear mushrooms, scrambled eggs, green peppers, thinly sliced cucumber and some flowers (not sure what kind).
I’m guessing on the seasonings, but I think I picked up ginger, garlic, scallions and soy sauce. The black mushrooms had a briny character by themselves, but they melded beautifully with the other items.
The salt and pepper shrimp featured 14 shell-on medium sized shrimp mixed with bean sprouts, thin strips of white onion and slices of green pepper in a mellow sauce. Peeling the shrimp got a little tedious, but they were cooked perfectly and the dish had a pleasing flavor.
Both entrees came with big servings of sticky rice.
We also shared pork and vegetable egg rolls ($2.75) with thin, crispy wrappers, and we had sweet-and-sour sauce and housemade soy sauce for dipping.
We chose hot green tea ($2.95 a pot) for our drink.
This is a place that begs for return visits, particularly since some dishes are available only on certain days.
Among items that caught my eye were coca chicken wing, braised pig feet, braised pork ribs, tomato egg noodles, spinach egg dumplings, steamed buns with leeks and pork, and udon noodles with seafood stir-fry, to name a few.
A special lunch menu, offered 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., includes 12 items for $4.95 to $6.25.
Mandarin Taste has light yellow and taupe walls, wooden tables and chairs and wooden booths.
Tabletops have a contemporary design under an acrylic finish. The room has a warm, comfortable ambience.
Yau said she came to the United States as an international student in 1999 and had been thinking about opening a restaurant for several years.
“It has been hard to find real Chinese food, so I decided to take a chance,” she said. “The kind of food I do isn’t real fancy, but it is comforting.”
The restaurant is located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of 61st Street and Sheridan Road. Note that it does not serve lunch on Tuesdays.
Read this and other restaurant reviews in Thursday's Weekend magazine. Find all of Scott Cherry's reviews at tulsaworld.com/cherrypicks.
6125 S. Sheridan Road
11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday-Monday and Wednesday-Thursday, 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover.
Beef dish at the Mandarin Taste restaurant. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
Chicken dish at the Mandarin Taste restaurant. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World