5-star hospitality at the Mandarin is a mission: although it is clear that none of us can afford a night here, it is already late and we appear in a gang, we are welcomed and accompanied at the table by a disproportionate number of head nurse, hostesses and waitresses with even too much kindness at times. We can choose between the beautiful internal counter, the lounge or the “one thousand and one nights” court: we opt for the latter because we want to smoke.
The opening of the Mandarin Hotel was one of the most eagerly awaited news of 2015 and the guests are certainly not lacking: they are guests of the hotel, well and curious Milanese. They are all beautiful, rich and well dressed.
We like the menu, there are classic cocktails, the reinterpreted ones and an excellent selection of spirits and bitters, including Italian ones: we can’t resist the call of Upside Martini, a martini cocktail served as… on the contrary; the cup is upside down and placed on an inclined cup holder. Funny to see, but having to drink it with a straw doesn’t do it justice, especially a plastic straw: one made of steel would have been much more in tune with the idea, the price and even with the environment (even if, as former bar manager Mattia Pastori told us in this interview, it was essentially an experiment, so chapeau!).
Waiters and head nurse continue to revere us: one of us asks for a cigar, we wouldn’t expect otherwise! The head nurse, sorry because at the moment they are not for sale at the Mandarin, comes back several times to tell us the hotels he called to track it down, but it’s late and the only way would be to send someone from the staff. In the end, my friend gives up the cigar, much to the great displeasure of the head nurse. We continue to drink (cocktail 18 €): not all drinks are to our taste, but most of them are. To compensate, the staff asks us if we want to make another round because it’s almost 2 o’clock and it is the last order, with the promise that “you can stay all night long”. For this time we decide not to take advantage of it.
Translated by @silaskin