Not for those seeking a quiet evening, a visit to Khublai Khans is all about the experience.
Situated in the increasingly upmarket Merchant City, Khublai Khans is conveniently close to the popular Candleriggs area. The theme of the restaurant is Mongolia, specifically the conquests of Genghis Khan.
Stretching across one wall is a map showing the 13th century Mongolian empire, and tapestries and murals hang elsewhere. The main dining area is large and slightly gloomy, but the overall effect is atmospheric rather than dour.
Khublai Khans is all about celebrations. Birthdays and stag and hen nights all find a comfortable home here. The staff even provide a throne and crown for the birthday boy or girl, and your evening is likely to have at least one Khublai birthday routine.
This includes the lights being dimmed, an ominous voice booming out and a cake adorned with a firework arriving at the birthday table, usually carried by an unenthusiastic waiter.
You order starters in the usual way, but when it’s time for the main course you’re directed to the kitchen to create your own concoction. A variety of meats, vegetables and sauces are set out, with suggested combinations for those who need a little guidance.
Meat-eaters won’t know where to start, with a choice that includes zebra, kangaroo and ostrich. Vegetarians are less well catered for, with a fairly small selection of vegetables and no tofu, quorn or equivalent. Once you’ve made your choice you hand it to the chefs, who cook your food on an open barbecue.
You can eat as much as you like, though the whole process can get a little time-consuming, especially in busy periods when there are long queues. Prices are moderate and a pre-theatre option is available.
The drinks selection is wide and includes a good range of bottled beers and wines. Beers are priced between £2.50 to £5 which is fairly typical for a city centre restaurant. Khublai Khans also offers a variety of coffees, all of which are fairtrade.
The Last Word
If you’re looking for a lively night out with a large bunch of friends, and you don’t mind risking a bit of a wait for your meal, then Khublai is perfect. If you want a cosy chat and sophisticated cooking, head elsewhere.