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Mandalay Burmese Restaurant
Mandalay Burmese Restaurant
After searching for some considerable time for somewhere to eat I came across Mandalay, a Burmese restaurant on the Edgware Road. I was a little reluctant to enter at first and carried on because externally it is rather unassuming. However after another pass, a closer look at the window and study of the menu I decided it sounded just the job and worth a trial visit.
The advertising in the window proclaimed it was awarded the Time Out Best Budget meal Award in 1996. I know this is some years ago, so if it still maintained the same standards I couldnt go wrong. The menu was interesting enough. There were lunchtime options at £3.70 for a single course or £5.90 for three courses. Particularly as I had never eaten in a Burmese restaurant before and the Time Out award clinched the decision for me.
I went in and found a cheerful, clean and friendly little restaurant that wasnt in anyway pretentious but was much more than a simple café. There were some other diners already seated but the restaurant wasnt full, however it was later in the afternoon rather than peak lunchtime when I sat down.
The proprietor was friendly and helpful and appeared genuinely interested in pleasing his customers. He appeared from behind a large cold display and counter with the kitchens to the rear of those, where a younger person, possibly his son, was preparing the food. I took the lunchtime menu and chose the single course which was a choice of shrimp fried rice, chicken curry, meatball curry, spicy lamb curry, noodle dishes and one or two other dishes I cant recall. If I had decided to take the three course meal I could have also chosen starters and a dessert as well. Starters included spring rolls, samosas and soup, and desserts included banana fritters, coconut agar agar jelly and tapioca.
I ordered a meatball curry, which was served with basmati rice. I also ordered a soft drink whilst I waited for the meal to arrive. It duly came and it turned out to be a mouthwatering masterpiece. The basmatic rice was fine quality and perfectly cooked, in fact it was as good as any I have ever been served. The meatballs were served in a spicy tomato flavoured curry sauce. It was not hot but pleasantly spiced. The choice of heat was optional when I ordered the dish. The meatballs were plentiful, firm and meaty. The whole dish was exquisite for just £3.70.
I was inspired by the main course so I then ordered banana fritters for dessert. These were prepared freshly from a whole banana sliced lengthways into two. They were served in a nice piping hot batter and thin syrup sauce. Absolute perfection after a spicy main meal.
For those interested in Burmese cuisine, which I would describe as somewhere between Indian and Chinese, I have reproduced parts of the menu, along with the Burmese name of the dishes, below.
To continue the Burmese theme, they even have some books about Burma on sale within the restaurant.
Overall I was immensely impressed by such an unassuming little place. I consider I was very fortunate to stumble on such a gem by chance and it is a privilege to pass on the details through Eatanddrink. The food is excellent, the choice is excellent, the service is friendly and the value is superb. My bill for the visit was £6.10.
Most highly recommended.
PAPADUM (TWO PIECES): PAPARA
SAMOSAS (FOUR): SAMUSA
VEGETABLE: HIN-THEE-HIN-YWEK SAMUSA
FRITTERS (TWO): A-KYAW
BEAN SPROUT: PAI-PIN-BAUK
VEGETABLE SAMOSA SALAD: SAMUSA THOAT
RICE - HTA-MIN
VEGETARIAN DISHES:- THAT-THUT-LUT
STIR-FRIED CABBAGE: GAW-BE KYAW
BONELESS LAMB DISHES: SEIT-THA
SPICY LAMB CURRY: SEIT-THA HIN
BONELESS CHICKEN DISHES: KYET-THA
CHILLI CHICKEN: KON-BAUNG-GYI KYAW
SEAFOOD PISHES:- BAZUN & NGA
BALACHAUNG (DRIED PRAWN GARNISH)
SPECIAL NOODLE & RICE DISHES
VEGETABLES: KHAOK-SWE KYAW