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Jun 20, 2009 11:31 AM

Myanmar mixed report, need more recs.

Had a recent meal at Myanmar, and I can't decide if it is worthy of a return trip.

I did plenty of research before going, and the dishes were very hit or miss.

Ginger Salad- People on this board have RAVED about it. It was good, but not revelatory. It gets the most points for being different more than anything else.

Samosa Salad- Only ok, it was best when it was hot, but it cooled down very, very quickly and became somewhat unappealing.

Pumpkin Curry- The pumpkin part (perfectly steamed kabocha squash) was delicious, but the mild "curry" sauce was very forgettable.

Chili Chicken- Inedible. It had an unpleasant fishiness to it, either from shrimp paste or too much fish sauce or something.

Soooo....I'd like to think that there are better options to be had at this place. It is clearly family run and I would love to be a regular and support it, but if the meals are only ok, and not spectacular as I kinda expected them to be, then i won't keep spending money there.

Alot of tables seemed to be enjoying noodle dishes, maybe thats the way to go. What are some great dishes that i am missing out on. I love, love, love spicy food, thai food, and indian food (rabieng, bangkok 54, delhi club, bombay are some of my faves) so I'm looking for dishes that really pack a punch,


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  1. Dried shrimp as either ngapi gyaw (like a paste) or balachaung (fried dry and crispy) is a staple of Burmese cooking, so this might account for the "unpleasant fishiness" to even a non-fish dish like Chili Chicken. The balachuang is homemade and can be ordered as a separate dish which I like to sprinkle over the salads, etc. The ginger salad is one of my favorite things to eat anywhere. I've had other good versions of this, they all taste similar, but Myanmar's strikes the perfect balance. Many other salads to have, of course, but many with the same flavor profile. The tea leaf salad, long bean salad, I don't think I I've had a salad there that I didn't love. I also love the chickpea salad with gram fritters and gravy - this is quite an unusual dish - and the shrimp and bean sprout salad which comes with a somewhat sweet sauce. It will be up to you to make it spicy.

    Pork with fresh mango, lemongrass chicken, tomato tofu (this is a wonderful but very plain dish ) are other good orders.

    1. After trying Myanmar, Taste of Burma and one other Burmese restaurant in DC, I have concluded that the things that I love the most about this cuisine (as currently offered in the DC area) are the salads. When I go to Myanmar and a Taste of Burma, I order 6 different types of salad - but esp. the Ginger salad and the Tea Leaf Salad. All the salads taste different from each other, so it is not like ordering 6 of the same things with different ingredients. I tend to go light on the main entrees.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pleen

        The noodle dishes at Mandalay are really good, and they also make great soups. But I think it's the salads that are the best.

        Mandalay Restaurant & Cafe
        930 Bonifant St, Silver Spring, MD 20910

      2. I was visiting DC last week and went with two others to Myanmar. I was interested in seeing how it compared to other Burmese food I've eaten in San Francisco, Boston and China. Overall, I thought it was pretty good.

        Decor is a bit drab, and the service was only so-so. Nothing really wrong per se, but not very friendly or engaged.

        We shared:

        Tea leaf salad - This was good, though a tad oily compared to other versions I've had. But still a good balance of flavors.

        Mohinga - I liked how this was served with noodles on the side, so they didn't get too soggy in the broth before we served the soup. It had noticeably large pieces of fish, which I also liked. Flavorwise it was pretty good, squeezing a bit of lime brought out better flavors.

        Lentil fritters - Basically like falafels made of lentil. Not super flavorful, but freshly fried and nice. My dining companions liked these more than me.

        Shrimp and eggplant curry - The pieces of eggplant were the highlight for me, since they absorbed the liquidy broth really well. The curry wasn't very spicy, but the onions in the broth added a nice flavor. Shrimp were properly cooked, so I thought this was pretty well executed too.

        Samosa salad - This dish was in the 'house specialties' section. While all the other dishes were similar to things I have had elsewhere, this samosa salad was really different. It was served in a thick gravy, which I thought was overly goopy. The salad bits were quite spicy, but when I have had versions of samosa salad before at other places, it was a mix of veggies and samosa in a light dressing (not a thick gravy). So I guess I didn't really like this, and as it cooled, the thick gravy got worse. I wouldn't order this again unless they could make a version without the gravy.

        Prices were reasonable, and the food was pretty good, so if I lived in the area this place would be on my regular list. But I don't know if I'd make a special trip to eat here unless I had never tried Burmese food.

        Dave MP