There were celebrations this week after Derry’s popular Mandarin Palace was voted ‘The Best Chinese Restaurant in Ireland.’
On what was described as a ‘momentous and emotional evening’ at London’s Mayfair Hotel, Team Mandarin’s Ursula Mullan and Gareth McGowan were ecstatic after a thrilling win, beating off stiff competition from restaurants ‘Zen’ and ‘Welcome’ in Belfast to win the ‘Golden Chopsticks’ award.
Lai Lee, the proprietor of Mandarin Palace, and her husband Stan Lee told the ‘Journal’ they were delighted with the win, which they said would not have been possible without their dedicated staff and patrons. They said: “This win is dedicated to the people of Derry City and the North West and especially to the hardworking staff of ‘Team Mandarin Palace’ who made this prestigious award possible” They added how all at the Mandarin Palace thank “all the people who voted for us.”
“It shows this little city can punch above its weight against the capital cities of Belfast and Dublin, with greater populations.”
Lai Lee and Stan Lee also told how the restaurant scene here is “exciting” at the moment.
“It is vibrant, evolving and innovative and after 30 years service it is nice to be recognised by fellow peers in this tough demanding catering industry.” The awards are voted for by the public and a panel of esteemed judges including Simon Rimmer, Ken Hom OBE and Ching-He Huang.