MainLand China Pune – restaurant review
A Chinese food feast
Mainland China at Pune (Dhole Patil Road) is a place where you can eat authentic Chinese food. The food is not spicy, except for the Manchurian dishes. The best part is that each dish has its own unique taste. The restaurant also serves the best Khimchi in town, the best starters (they give at least three original kind of starters, vegetarian and non-vegetarian) and the main course has a tremendous amount of variety, originality and taste.
The buffets (on Sundays) are a treat. The prices have been raised to Rs 350/- per person (2005 Dec) but the price includes free beer/ cold drinks and the buffet meal is complete with starters, soups, and a main course which has more than a dozen combinations of chicken, fish, crab/lobsters and vegetable dishes. The rice and noodle dishes are very good. There is variety in dessert too. There is a choice of three different sweets, plus ice-cream. If you are hungry (and that’s what we are if we skip breakfast on sunday mornings) and like sea-food and beer, then one can have a real food feast here. One should avoid the soup however, that’s the only dish which is average.
Overall, the money spent is worth it. Not only because the food is superb, the service and ambience are excellent.
There is valet parking, but even without it, there is usually space to park. The waiters are courteous, helpful and friendly, even when you make unusual requests. The real test of a restaurant is when it’s crowded and Mainland China passes with flying colours. It doesn’t matter how many people are around, you get the same best service (we have been there about five times till now) and what’s more – the waiters are cheerful and alert. I haven’t found that anywhere, not even in five-star hotels.
You can have a Mainland China card as well which gives you points everytime you eat there and which you can redeem the next time you visit.
The ambience is good. The tables are reasonably apart, and the lighting is not too bright. The décor is tasteful. The crowd is decent.
Recently (2006) they opened their second branch in Pune on Senapati Bapat Road and when we dropped in there on a weekend we found that there was a one hour waiting period! Going to this restaurant without a reservation is not advisable at all, specially on holidays or week-ends.
5th December 2006: We finally visited the Pune Senapati Road Branch. Ordered the less expensive items on the menu. Steamed noodles with crab and a prawn dish. Soft drinks. Brownie with ice-cream and wantons stuffed with dates. The bill was about Rs 750/-. Not bad considering the high quality of the food, excellent ambience and enthusiastic service. However, they have done away with the Mainland China cards which used to collect points. We had collected a fair amount of points during our past visits but as the scheme is closed the points are lost. I feel they should have honoured the existing card points or at least advertised the closure of the scheme.
If this review gives the impression that Mainland China is perfect – it isn’t. When I had the brownie I got aluminium foil in my mouth.
You can check out their website for information on locations and telephone numbers