The name Mulan might make you think of a Disney movie based on the story of an ancient Chinese heroine but there is a more local association, a Chinese restaurant just off Makarios Avenue in Larnaca. After a long day, my partner and I thought we could reward ourselves with a pleasant meal so decided to try Mulan. Despite correctly following the directions to get there, we were at a loss as to where the restaurant actually was! I was sure we were in the right place. We were. It is just that the restaurant is difficult to spot as there is a big tree in front and a plaque on the wall promotes an architect’s firm and not the restaurant itself!
Being a weekday, we convinced ourselves we would not need a reservation and it would be fine to just turn up. We entered the restaurant and were immediately greeted by the polite and friendly owner who appeared quite stressed when told we had not made a reservation. “It’s Tuesday,” he exclaimed. “We are completely full!” While being full on a Tuesday is a good sign, it was bad news for us. But a cancellation meant he managed to squeeze us in before telling us we had picked a good day to turn up as every Tuesday there is a 50 per cent discount!
The restaurant has a very classy look to it. The tables were decorated with bright red table cloths and had spotless white chairs surrounding them. There was artwork on the walls, one of which was, of course, the Chinese heroine Mulan herself riding her horse in to battle.
The menu was vast but staff were very knowledgeable and helpful in deciding what to choose. We were impressed they had Chinese beer on offer too so started with one of those. For first course we ordered the crispy aromatic duck and squid with garlic and chilli. Both dishes came out fairly quickly, which was good as we couldn’t wait to get stuck in. The duck was very tasty, the only problem being that the portion was a little on the small side. The squid, while nice, was a little disappointing as the chilli seemed to be powder which just isn’t as enjoyable as fresh chilli, or even chilli flakes.
Onwards, I ordered crispy chilli beef while my dining partner opted for the Kung Po chicken. We decided to share Singapore style vermicelli noodles. When the crispy beef arrived, I was extremely impressed by its presentation. The beef was sat in a nest of crispy noodles. I felt rather smug as the Kung Po chicken arrived as expected; on a plate!
With the beef, Mulan managed to get the balance just right. Additionally, the sauce had just the right amount of sweetness to it. My partner wasn’t as impressed with her dish as I was with mine. She found it rather average and lacking the strong flavours that had been hoped for. The vermicelli noodles were pleasant and a good accompaniment to our food.
Upon leaving, we noticed that ironically, even though it was darker outside than when we arrived, the restaurant stood out more and was easier to see from the road as the sign on the restaurant was now lit up!
Despite maybe going a little over board with what we ordered, due to the Tuesday deal, the bill came to a very respectable price indeed! If you enjoy Chinese food,
I would most definitely recommend giving Mulan a try. With the spectacular offer they have on a Tuesday, you have nothing to lose; but don’t forget to make a reservation.
WHERE Mulan, Areos 1, Larnaca
CONTACT 24 629508
PRICE €20-25 (on a regular night)