For nearly two decades, the road to Mandalay has been the Edgware Road. This looks set to change at the end of 2013, as the Ally family are planning to move their tiny, modest restaurant into larger and better premises in the more swish surroundings of Paddington Basin. In the meantime, they continue to run Mandalay just as they always have: with home-style, welcoming and informative service; and with cooking that accurately reflects the staples of Bamar food. The ten tightly packed tables are full each night with a mix of students, Burmaphiles and a few expats (best make a reservation). Burma’s food draws influence from its bordering countries (India/Bangladesh, China and Thailand) and is served at bargain prices here. Curries, noodle dishes, fried snacks and salads are put together in inventive ways, often with a hot, sour, or sweet mix of spices and herbs – there’s plenty of choice for vegetarians. Start, perhaps, with a brace of bean sprout and shrimp fritters (only £2.90) or bottle gourd soup, and continue with omelette curry or a coconut and chicken noodle dish; add a side of balachaung (dried prawn relish) for extra pungency. Now that more people than ever are able to visit Burma and experience real Burmese cooking for themselves, Mandalay’s planning a move to bigger and better premises. The move has been delayed, however.