And so my quest for all things gluten free led me to contact the Mandarin buffet restaurant head office in order to determine their perspective on the foods they offer at their buffet restaurants in Canada. I received a very friendly and helpful response which I will share with you below:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding our gluten free items. It is very difficult for me to answer your question as we do not have a detailed ingredient list available for our buffet items. There are many items that may contain gluten.
It may be helpful to let you know that we use canola oil when preparing most of our dishes. We also use corn starch in many of our soups and stir fries. Chicken base is also used in most of our hot buffet dishes and stir fries, and as far as I know, it is not gluten free. Our Garden Salad is prepared without dressing (You must select your own dressing for the salad), and our grilled items are marinated before they are cooked. Our Soy Sauce is not gluten free. Also, to my knowledge, our plain Steamed Rice and Peel and Eat Shrimp should not contain gluten.
We do have an à-la-carte menu available as an alternative to the buffet. Simply ask your hostess or server for our menu upon being seated. Our chefs may be willing to prepare a dish without chicken base or other ingredients containing gluten at your request. However, please be advised that it is almost impossible to say that any dish is gluten-free because there is a high risk of cross-contamination in our restaurants.
I hope that this information will help you, if you choose to dine at Mandarin. Thank you for contacting us with your question.
Mandarin Restaurant Franchise Corporation
8 Clipper Court, Brampton ON L6W 4T9