A Blackpool restaurant has been named as the best Chinese in Europe – beating others in capital cities from Paris and London to Budapest and Copenhagen.
Michael Wan’s Mandarin on Clifton Street was voted number one by the Big 7 Travel website leading a group of 50 reasonably priced restaurants.
The news came as a total surprise to owners Pauline Lai-Thomas and husband Gareth, despite their having won a string of rave reviews in the past.
Pauline said: “When they got in contact to say we had won I thought it was a scam. But then I looked at their website and saw they had half a million followers. We are delighted.
“I don’t really think we are the best in Europe but it is fantastic to get such recognition and great for Blackpool too to be in a list with such big cities. It is another great thing to say about Blackpool.”
Big 7 said of the award winner: “If you’ve ever dined here, then you definitely can’t argue that Michael Wan’s Mandarin is without a doubt the best Chinese restaurant in Europe.
“Visitors come from all over the world just for the chance to try the elegant Cantonese dishes served here. Delicious and consistent, we’re positive that the food here is going to blow your mind.”
Hong Kong born Michael Wan founded the restaurant in 1961 and sold it to his God-daughter Pauline in 2004.
She said many of the recipes were Michael originals, complemented by new ones of the team’s own.
She added: “I think it is all about paying attention to the to the little details. We also pay attention to the restaurant trends in London which then travel up North.
“It can be hard work, 12 hours every day, but we have a great team.”
It was described by Jay Rayner as “one of Britain’s most venerable Cantonese restaurants” in The Guardian in 2018, and was voted UK’s Number 3 Chinese restaurant by TripAdvisor in 2014.