It seems like I just wrote a post about one Burmese place, only to go to another Burmese place a few weeks later. I took SB out for a (very) belated birthday dinner. Her choice was Mandalay, a Burmese/Mandarin restaurant in the Inner Richmond that lives in the shadow of the other very famous Burmese restaurant in the same neighborhood — Burma Superstar.
I don’t know what’s up with restaurants that refuse to take down their Valentine’s decorations, but Mandalay was one of them.
I was really excited about this place because SB had spoken very highly of it, and it received great reviews on Yelp. One of the recommended dishes was the Green Tea Salad. It came out in a beautiful arrangement of separate piles of green tea powder, nuts, sesame seeds, fried garlic, and secret sauce. When I took out my camera, the waitress shot me a dirty look. Here is the conversation that ensued:
Waitress: You’re not going to take a picture, are you?
Me: Yes, I am.
W: Well, you can’t.
Me: (staring at her in confusion and annoyance) Why not?
W: You just can’t. It’s our policy.
Me: (hrrmph. Giving her the death stare.)
You know, it’s one thing if she just told me in a nice way, “This is our signature dish, and our official restaurant policy is that no pictures be taken of it before we mix the ingredients. We appreciate your understanding.” But because she was so indirect, I got really annoyed. When I told the boytoy about this later, he said that I should have taken a picture of the waitress instead of the salad. What a fabulous idea. As usual, I wasn’t that quick and was still stewing in anger as she explained what all of the ingredients were and proceeded to mix the salad. She graciously allowed me to take a picture of the salad after mixing. How nice.
We ordered two of the most popular dishes on the menu: Shrimp with Okra and Chicken and Basil. Both were really good, though I preferred the shrimp dish, mostly because the okra was cooked to the right texture (not too mushy). The chicken was good too, but seemed kinda standard. We also got the coconut rice which was delicious.
Overall, I thought Mandalay was very good, but because of its location, it’s unlikely that I’ll go out of my way to go there again.