Surviving Suzhou’s Bars & Restaurants
These reviews were commissioned by More Suzhou Magazine who hold the copyright for them.
All the venues mentioned below have been visited by the author and no free drinks or meals have been accepted. Mark Whitworth
1. Da Marco's Restaurant
2. The Blue Marlin Bar & Restaurant
3. Ebony's Restaurant
4. The Black Mirage American Bar & Attic Restaurant
Da Marco’s Restaurant
Da Marco’s only opened in Suzhou recently and now provides a standard by which other establishments should judge themselves. The standards may be high but the prices are reasonable as they’ve followed the template created by their other restaurants in Shanghai.
Immediately we entered we were made to feel special. On the Friday night that this review was conducted no booking had been made and they were extremely busy, but still the staff spent time to ensure a table was found and readied in seconds. As Da Marco’s popularity grows making an advance booking will become a necessity, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings.
If the welcoming service was first rate then the table staff bettered this standard. Our waiter was knowledgeable regarding the wine list and was extremely helpful in selecting the best dishes. For starters we selected the Caesar salad with spicy shrimp and a bean and pasta soup. The former proved to be a delicate, although not particularly spicy, whilst the very generous helping of soup was robust and flavourful. Our only criticism of the soup was that it was too good, having been slightly gluttonous with the beautifully baked fresh bread, it filled us up rather too much!
In our choice of wine we had opted for the house red, largely because we have little knowledge of Italian wines. This proved inspired and had been encouraged by the waiter who may have been expected to push us in the direction of a more expensive option. After polishing off the bottle we chose to order another glass each so well had it gone down.
For entree we chose a grilled beef fillet topped with red wine sauce, requesting medium, and a chicken roll stuffed with spinach and carrot in prosecco sauce. The steak was cooked to
perfection and the quality of the meat superb; the only drawback being it was not particularly hot. The chicken was definitely straight from the oven and matched the quality of the steak; it had been cleverly, and apparently seamlessly, wrapped into pockets and stuffed. All the accompanying vegetables were of a very high standard.
After two courses and the wine we felt unable to go on to a third course. We were both delighted with the food, the wine and, at the end of the day; the bill wasn’t too bad either!
We highly recommend Da Marco’s and would congratulate their management and staff.