Sunday, 29 September 2013

Restaurant review: Michael Wan's Mandarin, Blackpool

A few weeks ago it was my 30th birthday, which I spent in Blackpool. There are a number of reasons Blackpool was my destination of choice for my birthday.

1. I had never been before.
2. I love run-down seaside towns.
3. There was a really good deal on Amazon Local for a 2-night stay at the Blackpool FC Hotel.

Yes, Blackpool is rather run-down in places, and I have also never seen so many slightly tired and out-dated B&Bs along one seafront in my life, but I also thought it was amazing. I lost count of how much money I spent on the penny falls; the all-too familiar copper smell stayed on my fingers for the entire three days I think, and the cheap and tatty keyrings I won felt like wonderful victory.
Penny falls galore at the North Pier
 On my birthday itself I woke up to an unexpected birthday present of a shiny Google Nexus 10. The plan is that this will help me with my blogging! After a very filling Full English Breakfast at the hotel, we wondered out into the street and hopped on a tram towards the Sealife Centre to make use of one of our many 2-for-1 Merlin vouchers carefully cut-out from cereal packets. The Sealife Centre was a bit small, but we enjoyed the behind-the-scenes talk and the Pirate Mini Golf at the end.

Pirate Mini Golf
Obviously, we had to go up the Blackpool Tower. Tell me this view isn't amazing?

While we were gazing down at the view, I startled my husband by suddenly exclaiming, "Spoon, jar, jar, spoon!"

My favourite Tommy Cooper skit is immortalised in the concrete below the Tower (click the photo to make it larger).

Sealife and Tower fun done, we rested a bit before it was time for dinner. I had of course done my research into the best places to eat in Blackpool and had settled on Michael Wan's Mandarin, enticed by the promise of crispy duck and a £5-off voucher for signing up to their newsletter. When making the booking, I may have mentioned that I would be celebrating a special birthday.

When we arrived and were seated, we found our booth decked out in balloons and birthday decoration, which was awesome.


We ordered some prawn crackers to start, which came with a lovely sweet chilli dipping sauce.

We decied to share a starter as we were also planning to have a duck course. We had Garlic Mushrooms, which were delicious, but VERY garlicky (luckily, we like garlic). We were not in any danger of being attacked by vampires that evening.

Then it was time for duck. For some reason, my husband seemed to think we needed to order half a duck. It was a lot of duck - crispy as promised. It was absolutely delicious. My husband said it came close to duck he had in China. We were quite quickly very full of duck.

We had both also ordered main courses which we soon realised was a mistake. I managed a little of my chicken chow mein, but I can't really comment on it because I was so very full of duck. The waiter offered to put it in a doggy bag, but unfortunately we couldn't accept due to staying in a hotel, and not having any fridge facilities.

We refused pudding because of our very full bellies, but then a complimentary dessert arrived in honour of my birthday.
Yes, we ate a little before we remembered to take a photo. Fortunately banana and ice-cream wasn't too filling and we managed most  of this (would have been rude not to).

All in all, great service, delicious food, and reasonable prices (check out their menu). If I ever find myself in Blackpool again (which I very much hope to), we would definitely return. Maybe have a little less duck next time. Or maybe not. 

After our gorgeous meal, we waddled from the restaurant and down the seafront to enjoy the illuminations. Magical.

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