We went out on saturday to have a diner date night.
We found Le Mandarin, it is the oldest chinese restaurant in Lyon. No all-you-can-eat here as it is the thing in many other chinese restaurants nowadays but a great menu with gentle prices.
It is located in a narrow street of the 1st arrondissement. You could easily walk through the street without seeing the restaurant as the storefront is not really appealing. But don’t be fooled by appearances.
The restaurant is not really big, maybe around 20 tables. The decoration is really typical with painted/drawn dragons and a lot of red things.
We ask the waitress a table for two and she starts setting the table, forgetting the napkins. Cuttlery is clean (which is not always the case in restaurants). There were two waitresses, one was more smiling and cheerful than the other but they were nice.
I went for the 13,50€ (15$) menu (starter, main + dessert) because I am not really hungry and portions are generally smaller in menu. My husband did the same.
As a starter, we both took the pork nems. They were deliciously crispy and tender. Not too oily though which is good. They were served with salad and a few sprigs of mint.
We also ordered two more started to taste a little bit more a the food they offered. I went for the pork gyoza (4,5€/5$ for 4) and my husband went for a chinese crepe with shrimps and spring onions (4,5€/5$).
The gyozas were great. The stuffing was made with cabbage, it was light and delicious. They were served with chinese hot sauce.
Now the crepe was good too, the portion is pretty generous. You easily tasted shrimps and spring onions but it was a delicate taste. Not too dry, I really could have eat more of that.
For the main course I got the “braised chicken” without really knowing what to expect. That was not what I would have called braised chicken aha. But anyway, it was great. Chicken with carrots and onions in a thick sauce. The consistance of the chicken was weird but I always have that feeling with chinese cuisine.
My husband had the “beef and peppers”. It was some fried beef with bellpeppers and onions. It was good BUT there was a weird aftertaste in the sauce. Felt like they put too much Viêt Sin in it… Little bit disguting at the end.
I took plain white rice but my husband took the fried rice (for an extra 2,20€/2$).
What I don’t really like with menus is that they often offer not-so-good dessert. As I was completely full, I took the ice cream and my husband did too. It was a raspberries ice-cream with meringues in it, very good to end the dinner.
You could also have some deep-fried bananas, apples or pineapples but I was up for a light dessert.
As a conclusion, we really enjoyed our date night dinner here. The portions were really generous and there was a casual atmosphere. We had a great dinner and it was pretty cheap. I saw some interesting other things in the menu so I guess we will go back !
15 rue Lanterne
+33 (0)4 78 28 45 66