For 55 years, while trends come and go, Michael Wan’s Mandarin has stood the tests of time by serving locals and visitors of Blackpool the best Chinese food in Lancashire and North West of England.
Listed as Best Chinese Restaurant in Europe by Big7 Travel in October 2019 and described by Jay Rayner as “one of Britain’s most venerable Cantonese restaurants” (The Guardian, 18th Nov 2018), the Mandarin was also voted UK’s Number 3 Chinese restaurant by TripAdvisor in 2014/15 and was a finalist for two consecutive years in the Food Awards England – Best Oriental Restaurant. 2017 saw the restaurant win the LUX Tourism Awards – Best Chinese Restaurant, North West but the foundation for this success started many years before…
In 1958 a young Michael Wan journeyed to find a new life in England, after landing in Liverpool dock, Michael made his way to Blackpool. After several hard years learning and fine-tuning his trade in restaurants around town, he opened his own restaurant, right in the heart of Blackpool and in 1961 Michael Wan’s Mandarin was born.
For over 40 years Michael built up a loyal following of customers, not only Blackpool locals but also visitors who would make their annual pilgrimage for the autumn holidays or to see the famous Illuminations.
In 2004 Michael retired and sold his business to his God-daughter, Pauline Lai, a young and aspiring chef and restaurateur. Pauline comes from a long line of acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs, including her father and two uncles, all of whom ran successful businesses in HK and latterly Manchester, UK.
From the day she took over Pauline has worked hard to ensure the standard of food remains at its highest level whilst developing and growing the menu and cross-blending traditional Cantonese flavours with western style dishes.
This blend of traditional and modern continues throughout the restaurant; since taking over Pauline has completely transformed the interior of the restaurant, with the new décor taking influences from 1930’s Shanghai tea rooms. Colourful fabrics and intricate gilded wallpaper give a lovely atmospheric warmth.
Whether you’re a regular customer who remembers the old restaurant from 60’s and 70’s or are a new visitor dining here for the first time, one thing that has never changed over the years is the warm welcome you’re guaranteed to find from the Mandarin team.