The Mandarin

Special thanks to The Mandarin for extending this food review invitation.

The Mandarin (甘) is the latest bar to hit George Town's nightlife scene. Barely open for a week, this new drinking establishment occupies a two-floor house at Jalan Irving. The place hides behind an unassuming facade reminiscent of a speakeasy. To attract customers, neon lights and Chinese lanterns will be installed soon.
Past the old-fashioned wooden doors, a chic bar takes up a third of the dining hall. Against the wall are liquor racks supported by steel pipes. The Mandarin serves beer, wine, liquor and a host of cocktails. Manning the bar is a seasoned bartender who constantly pushes the limits of perfection.
The bartender's latest creation is Mandarin Senorita. The cocktail is concocted from Jameson Irish Whiskey laced with lemon and lime juice. Shaken in a mixer, the drink is served on the rocks and then topped with dry ginger ale. A cinnamon stick, charred with a propane torch, is added for the finishing touch. Mandarin Senorita has a fruity tang with a touch of smoky cinnamon.
During Happy Hours (3:00pm-9:00pm daily), customers enjoy special prices for draught beer and bottled beer. Apart from alcoholic beverages, the pub has a decent food menu too. The kitchen is open for lunch from 12:00pm to 3:00pm, and for dinner from 6:00pm to 12:00am.
Two types of soup are served today: Mushroom Soup and Pumpkin Soup. They come with garlic bread and potato wedges respectively. The Mushroom Soup is made of actual mushrooms as evidenced by its grainy consistency. Meanwhile, the Pumpkin Soup leaves a satisfying creaminess on the lips.
As a finger food, the Chicken Cutlet goes especially well with alcoholic beverages. The bite-size chicken bites, seasoned to perfection, are satisfying to the last morsel. Dried chili peppers and curry leaves enhance the overall aroma.
Patrons who desire proper meals can opt for Chicken Chop. The boneless chicken thigh is elegantly marinated and then fried to golden perfection. Enhancing its flavor is a homemade sauce with soothing savoriness. On the side are crinkle-cut fries and fresh rocket with balsamic vinegar.
The Mandarin will be introducing pastries in due time. For the purpose of today's preview, I am given samples of Chocolate Walnut Cake and Baked Cheesecake. Both are delectable indeed.
To maintain freshness, The Mandarin prepares each dish from scratch upon order. Judging from the taste, I can tell that a great deal of effort has been expended in fine-tuning the recipes.

Name: The Mandarin (甘)
Address: 3B, Jalan Irving, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 019-465-8887
Business hours: 12:00pm-1:00am
Coordinates: 5.41332 N, 100.32507 E
Directions: The Mandarin is located at Jalan Irving. When arriving from Jalan Dato Keramat, the bar is one of the first shops on the left. There are parking spaces along Jalan Irving and New Lane (Lorong Baru).

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