OMandarin in Hartsdale is indisputably the best Chinese food I've had in Westchester

#1

On Saturday afternoon, I returned for my second meal at OMandarin. It is in the same strip mall as the original HMart. We had an amazing meal. Their scallion pancakes are almost like a poori – a couple of large, puffed balls. I have a friend who has lived in and traveled extensively in China, and she said that she has never seen these outside of Suzhou. The eggplant appetizer was one of the single best things I’ve eaten this year. For several years, we have been driving to College Point in Queens to a restaurant there for a fix of excellent Chinese food, but this is easily its equal. NB: A friend went on a Saturday night at 6:30 with reservations, but by the time they left at about 8PM, there was a line out the door. Plan accordingly!

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#2

Personally I have to disagree. Their food is inconsistent, and mediocre much of the time. Hot foods served cold, cold foods served warm. I’ve traveled all over China and have had some of the best, including high end in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as small hole in the wall places out in the country.

omandarin is only good at its best, and usually just eh. As for the service, terrible. They have a bad staffing problem and go through servers, bussers, hosts, and managers non-stop. I have eaten there several times. Then stopped because I was so annoyed with the food issues. Went again at a friends insistence recently, and still was inconsistent.

Much better regional food in Queens, and with high end regional restaurants opening there, the food scene is just getting better.

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#3

This is what makes horse racing.

Our usual go-to is Little Pepper in College Point, and several of the dishes I’ve had at OMandarin have been equal to or better than ones we’ve had there. Nothing came to the table cold, and our servers were unfailingly polite and engaging. My son, who also lived in China, also thought it was a wonderful meal.

BTW, the restaurant was recommended to me by Jeff Gordiner, a food writer whose new book Hungry chronicles his four years traveling and eating with René Redzepi. I was talking about restaurant recommendations in Westchester and which restaurants, besides Stone Barns, were worth eating in, and his immediate answer was Omandarin. Obviously, you’ve had a very different experience, but as I said, that’s what makes horse racing.

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#4

I would love to get great meals there. It’s just that almost every time I am disappointed.

70% of my visits have been at lunch time. I wonder how much is a result of that. But I had my two worst meals there in the early evening.

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#5

I’m another voice with a mixed bag of experiences at OMandarin. I had been a few times with friends for lunch and was positively impressed. Then went with husband and another couple (and reservations, they can be quite busy) for dinner, with mixed results. More recently went for lunch with husband, who afterwards swore off it forever — food and service problems.

As a side note the front room staff is heavily NOT Asian, which shouldn’t affect anything, but is certainly unusual.

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(Gwenn) #6

Nice to see you, Roxlet!!!

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(Bill) #7

I’d read in the past that people who went for lunch were unimpressed and wondered if they had a different chef. An Instagram food blogger was going to check for me but never got back to me. But now we have someone who said lunch was good and dinner was bad so it seems like they’re just wildly inconsistent.

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#8

Thanks!

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