Review: Mandalay

16 Mar

Burmese Tease

444 Edgware Road, London, W2 1EG
Telephone: 020 7258 3696
My friends Hol, Non, Josh and I have a bid to eat our way around the World (in London) and last week we popped into Burma. On the Edgeware Road.  Mandalay, a sweet and understated place which won the Time Out Top Cheap Eats award in 1996 (and rather adorably still boasts this accolade on the menu) is all about modest surroundings, charming service and big flavours.
We had a big bunch of starters to share: Bazun Kaw-Pyant (Shrimp and Vegetable spring-rolls), Kyet-Oo & Ah-Loo Samusa (Egg and Potato Samosas), Boo-Thee-Kyaw (Kalabash), Tin-Baw-Thee Thoat (Raw Papaya and Cucumber), Prawn Crackers and Popadums.  The Samosa especially was jaw-droppingly good.  Juicy, moist spiced potato and crisp and hot pastry.  The salad too took my breath away – crisp and tender vegetables and a hot and sour dressing complimented the soft sweetness of the papaya.  We washed it down with cool beer and revelled in the Eastern flavours which combine China, India, Malaysia and Thailand.
For my main I wolfed down a Kyet-Tha Ohn-No Khauk-Swe (a beautiful bowl of noodles with coconut and chicken) which was fragrant and spicy and looked utterly beautiful.  Despite, our trousers becoming undone, we shared a Faluda (Milk, Ice cream, Jelly and Rose Syrup), Ice-Cream Mandalay (With Asian Fruits) and Coconut Agar Agar Jelly or Kyauk-Kyaw as it is in Burmese.  These desserts featured a lot of coconut and jelly and were brilliantly unusual.
The meal was a snip at £20 a head, including a tip, and the service was charming and gentle throughout.  The décor of the place deserves a mention too. Cramped tables, plastic chairs, so like places I have loved eating in Asia.  The toilets were an Alice-in-Wonderland adventure away down twisting corridors and the windows were decked in those jumping lights which look wonderfully jolly.  For a Thursday night, Mandalay was pretty busy and I am not surprised at all. Good, bold, honest food at a super price. I will definitely be going back.


4 Responses to “Review: Mandalay”

  1. Anonymous March 16, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    What I like about this place, and this type of food, is the real blend of flavours you can get. It isn’t just one dish followed by another, but you can mix and match. Kind of like a burmese meze.

    • wouldliketoeat March 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

      Yeah, you’re right. The main was easily my favourite part of the meal but the starters were very good and I loved the mix of flavours – prawn crackers, spring rolls AS WELL as naan bread and papadoms. I really want to go back soon…

  2. Fran March 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    I’ll come!! Sounds awesome.

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