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.
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 decided to up-(chop)sticks and leave his homeland of Hong Kong; he boarded a slow boat and embarked on an epic journey to find a new life in England.
On landing in Liverpool dock, Michael made his way to Blackpool where he began working in a restaurant just behind the pleasure beach, on Bond Street. After several hard years learning and fine-tuning his trade, his talent was clear. A local businessman saw Michael’s potential and offered to support him to open 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 many visitors who would make their annual pilgrimage for the summer holidays or to see the famous Illuminations. For them dining at The Mandarin became part of their annual trip and Michael’s ever evolving menu would keep them coming back for more.
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 the menu and cross-blending traditional Cantonese flavours with western style dishes.
This blend of traditional and modern continues throughout the restaurant, with the décor taking influences from 1930’s Shanghai tea rooms. Colourful fabrics and intricate gilded wallpaper give a lovely atmospheric warmth.
One thing that has never changed over the years is the warm welcome you’re guaranteed to find from the Mandarin team.