Mandopop is a modern Chinese restaurant on Wireless Road, just next to the Dutch Embassy. As soon as I read about it (and saw the pictures of the neon dining room) I knew I had to go there. It opened in 2012 so it has taken me a while to get around to it, and as you can imagine my excitement at getting invited there for dinner one evening was palpable. The restaurant is walking distance from Ploen Chit BTS station and opens at 17:00, with Sunday brunch at the weekend.
The restaurant is on the grounds of the Oriental Residence, a beautifully chic hotel that envelops you in a perfumed world decked out in so much white and cream that I felt like a two year old with sticky fingers. Mandopop has a completely different vibe, more like a swish discothèque. In fact, from 19:00 they even have a DJ, but despite the restaurant’s name he doesn’t seem to actually play any Chinese pop music. Or if he does it sounds a lot less cheesy than K-pop and J pop…
Upstairs there is a long blue lit corridor that leads onto the private dining rooms, set up for the more traditional Chinese sharing meals around a circular table. Downstairs is a combination of high bar stools and some funky cow hide covered chairs. It feels more like a modern bistro than a Chinese restaurant.
The chef is extremely enthusiastic and I really admired his idea to present Chinese food in a different way using healthy ingredients. We ordered the set menu, which comes in small portions and gives you a taste of all the different specialities on the menu, which is a great idea for those who want to try new things.
Sadly for me, the food was beautiful to look out, but the flavours just weren’t that wow. It was such a disappointment! Perhaps without all the greasy goodness Chinese food just doesn’t taste as amazing?
Set menu one starts with a Dim Sum platter and four individual portions. The spinach dumpling looks like a jewel on the plate, but the flavour of the prawn inside was nothing special. My favourite was easily the radish cake, a thick comforting slab with bacon bites inside. It’s sad when beautifully prepared food like this leaves you wanting a BBQ pork steamed bun from the 7 11.
Next up was the appetizers, three choices and definitely more flavour. This pretty trio included a lamb roll, crispy pork and cod fish. The pork was mainly fat, admittedly a tasty morsel, but that left you feeling a little like Jack Sprat’s wife.
They seemed to have a knack with fish though, with both portions of cod (why have cod twice on a set menu?) moist and flaky. The main course was served with a portion of fried vegetables and scallop noodles, personally I loved the slightly fishy chewiness of them, dipped in a hot stock, but my companion was non-plussed.
Dessert, a mango pudding with slices of beautiful but flavourless dragon fruit is hardly worth mentioning. I left feeling hungry and I won’t be returning to Mandopop. If you are going to risk it, I recommend the all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch, which at 1,200 is a bargain, especially considering a single plate of pan seared foie gras comes in at 459 baht.Ground Floor Oriental Residence, 110 Wireless Road Bangkok
Sunday lunch : 11.30 – 14.30 hrs and Dinner daily : 17.00 – 24.00 hrs
02 125 9000 or 02 252 8001-5