Mainland China, Barwa Towers

Greg often says I don’t concentrate properly and this is probably the main reason why we havent been to Mainland China. I had read some positive reviews and heard good things about the restaurant but I thought it was in Barwa City. At a recent Zomato meet up someone was giving a glowing report of their Iftar menu and then realised that it was in Barwa Towers on C Ring Road NOT Barwa City! As we had a few things to do nearby we decided to go on Monday evening for Iftar. Located just above French Olive (another lovely restaurant) I was impressed at how nice it was inside. Lots of dark wood, good use of lighting and lovely etched glass made it feel warm and welcoming with a distinct Asian feel.

We were immediately brought fresh fruits and vegetables, dates, nuts, a glass of juice and the Iftar menu. It was explained that we would be served everything on the menu and if we wanted an extra serving of anything this was included in the price.


Our appetizers arrived quickly and were delicious. There was a nice spicy kick to the roast chicken, the spring rolls were crispy and packed with chicken and veg and I loved the morsels of crispy lamb which were deep-fried. We ended up ordering another serving of the garlic prawns as they were so tasty. We asked not to be served the tofu salad as neither of us like it and it would have been wasted.

The staff checked we had finished with our appetizers then one of the managers came over the chat with us to check the food and service were ok. He was keen to hear our feedback and luckily it was all good at this point. Our lemon and coriander soup arrived and it was piping hot. It was quite a large serving and the flavours of lime, coriander and lemon shone through with small pieces of tender chicken.Greg found the soup a little too fragrant but I really enjoyed it.

After about 10 minutes our main courses arrived, I was getting rather full by this point! Again all of the dishes were hot and freshly cooked. We liked the chicken with mantao bun, the white fish which was lovely and light, the fried rice and the noodles which weren’t in the least bit greasy or heavy. I didn’t really enjoy the lamb however as I felt the quality of the meat wasn’t very good. I think it was the texture, it didn’t seem like ‘real’ cubes or slices of lamb. The sauces were nice but we felt they could have had stronger, deeper flavours and maybe a little more spice. When we go again we will ask for more spice to be added.

By now we were full to bursting. I had looked at the desserts offered and didn’t think I would like any of them as I don’t eat nuts, honey or dates. Curiosity got the better of me however and I decided to try the noodles with honey and almonds. They were a bit of a revelation especially with vanilla ice cream. The only way I can explain it is they were like honey nuts cornflakes with ice cream – probably not the best description I know! We really liked them. The date pancakes were unfortunately far too sweet for either of us to eat. If you have a sweet tooth you will love these desserts.

There were lots of good things about our meal here and we enjoyed it. Priced at 89QR each it is also very good value for money. I think, as previously mentioned, some of the dishes could have a bit more depth of flavour and the quality of the lamb could also be improved. Everything else was spot on. Throughout our meal service was warm and friendly. At one point it did get a little overbearing as we were asked 3 times in 5 minutes how our food was. Maybe they could ensure one server works with one table to ensure this doesn’t happen?. Our bill came to just over 200QR for the 2 Iftar meals, a bottle of water (other than the initial drink they are not included) and a tip. For someone looking for a slightly different Iftar I would recommend this and we will definitely go back to eat from the regular menu. They also offer a take away service.

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