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Feb 1, 2006 10:20 AM

Mandarinn Inn on Mount Vernon Ave.

  • t

This is a bad Chinese-American restaurant with the usual beef with broccoli and general Tsao's. Tyler Cowen's guide mentions it as being run by Malaysians with a small Malaysian menu if you ask for it. Has anyone tried the Malay food at this place?

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  1. This place is indeed very bad but the owners of Mandarinn Inn also own South China a few miles down the road on Mt. Vernon (close to Firefly). Very reliable, if not inspired, Chinese fare with a wonderful Malyasian menu on the back. My favs are the tofu with fermented bean paste and a noodle dish that tastes a lot like Pad See Ew (can't remember the name). The pork rolls are also very good.

    I would stay away from Manderinn Inn and head to South China instead.

    1. Having moved back to Alexandria from New York a couple of years ago, and, therefore, feeling relatively deprived of interesting delivery options, I've actually ordered delivery (from the Malaysian menu only) from Mandarin Inn. It's probably of poor to middling quality, especially given the fact that you've actually spent time in the region, but it hits the spot when faced with the same old boring pizza and Chinese delivery options.

      The restaurant, itself, looks like a squalid dump, so while I will continue to occasionally order delivery from there, I don't ever intend upon dining there in person. I've never actually set foot inside, however.

      As for their menu, the beef rendang is pretty serviceable. And I love their Acar Timun salad- a lightly pickled carrot and cucumber salad with a heavy sprinkling of crumbled peanuts. The pandan chicken was a bit unusual, almost medicinal in flavor, so probably to be avoided. And the beancurd with black bean and chili sauce is actually pretty good with a moderate chili kick. (Suburban Tasteland
      In case you're still curious, I've included a direct link to their Malaysian menu in the hyperlink below.


      1. The Mandarin Inn has closed. There's a sign on the door pointing people to South China down the street. South China also has the Malaysian menu.

        I never did step foot inside; looked ominous though.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Dave

          And South China is a bizarrely horrible restaurant.

          1. re: LLB

            Did you try the Malaysian menu? If so, which items did you not like?

            1. re: Steve

              Been there once, haven't been back. We had only Chinese items, which were weirdly bad. A spring roll that looked like a bun. Kung Pao with a sauce that resembled maple syrup in taste and consistency. Some sort of chicken and vegetable dish swimming in grease. It truly was one of the strangest meals we've ever had. Neighbors report similar experiences, but I've not heard the Malaysian food commented on.

              1. re: Steve

                My husband and I are slowly working our way through all the Malaysian items on South China's menu. For Chinese, I can leave it, but the Malaysian menu is interesting. Not executed with finesse or presented well, but some items are quite tasty. They recently told us to special order in advance anything we want not on the menu. I'm thinking of marching in there with my Malaysian cookbook...