I often go to restaurants that are recommended by timeout and they are usually good. Mandalay doesn't deserve London best cheap eat. Firstly it is not cheap at all, 8.90 for a lamb curry that doesn't come with rice, adding coconut rice ending up paying 12 pounds for a main course. Portions are small, food are tasteless. Restaurant is small, looked very dated with no decor and doesn't look hygienic. VERY overrated and overpriced for what it is.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Mon Aug 18 2014
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.
Mandalay 444 Edgware Road
- Venue phone:
020 7258 3696
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-2.30pm, dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat
Tube: Edgware Road tube
Main courses £5.50-£8.50. Set lunch £4.50 1 course, £6.50 3 courses
- 444 Edgware Road
- 020 7258 3696
- 444 Edgware Road
Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
Discovered this place after craving for khao suey and searching for it on zomato. The best khao suey i have ever had! I now visit Mandalay atleast thrice a month. I would highly recommend this place to anyone and everyone. Best discovery on Edgware Road till date
We came here because my late grandfather is from Burma and my Grandmas had wanted to visit for a while, being the one of the only, if not the only Burmese restaurant in country. It looks like a cheap takeaway restaurant from the outside, and when you walk in it doesn't really get much better. But by the time we had left, we were one very happy and stuffed family! We asked the owner to bring out traditional Burmese dishes, so we had no idea what we in for, but everything they bought out was amazingly tasty! In terms of flavours, imagine a blend of Thai, Chinese and Indian and your nearly there. To top it all off, the bill came to less than £15 a head and we had been drinking beer all night. Great value for money and would definitely recommend if you want some cheap tasty food!
The food was interesting in terms of the flavours - a sort of mix of Thai and Indian. However the quality of the food was not really good, two of our party of five had mild food poisoning by the following morning (the two who had fish/seafood dishes). It is cheap, but unfortunately in more than just the cost sense.
Came back here after last being here in August 2011 and the food was just as good as I remember. The lamb mint dish was fresh and tasty, the naan were a bit on the tougher side this time round, though great portions, and my friends all were suitably impressed, all at under ten pounds a head. Amazing.
I was passing by at lunchtime so thought I'd give the special lunch a try. I ordered the shrimp and potato curry - which came with rice for £3.90 - so OK for price I thought. The curry was fine as were the prawns - good sized and luscious - and plenty of them in a strongly tomato-flavoured mildly spiced sauce. What let it all down was the side salad - tired, even brown lettuce and some slivers of cucumber (which I hate) interspersed. They can't be blamed for the cucumber (someone must like it!) but I felt really let down by the lettuce. One might have expected this in a 1960's caff but not today. Unfortunately, it coloured my whole experience of what is otherwise a good budget eatery - the like of which are fast disappearing from London.
As a local, I have been looking forward to eating at Mandalay for some time. I visited on a week night and the restaurant was at capacity and staff had to turn away customers who had not reserved so booking is essential. To start, we had the leafy green fritters which tastes a bit like chinese seaweed fried in batter and egg and potato samosas which were flavoursome. For mains we had lamb with ginger, fish curry and green beans. The lamb was tender, however, we couldn't taste the ginger. I enjoyed the mildly spiced fish curry but the green beans were rather oily. Portion sizes are small so value for money is not as good as it first appears. Service was ok, the waiter pulled a face when we ordered the leafy green fritters, we asked if it was a bad choice and he said it wasn't so his reaction was left unexplained and our waiter started clearing away the starters before we had finished because our main dishes were ready. Overall, I thought the food and overalll experience was average. I enjoyed the food but not enough to warrant another visit.
I went here a couple of nights ago and had a great time. We had leafy greens fritters which came in a light tempura-like batter - perfect as a starter with the chilli dip. Mains consisted of a coconut based lamb curry with coconut rice and naan bread, as well as prawns stir fried in ginger. Both were well proportioned (and I'm a greedy man) and we were both very full but happy afterwards as we left. Best of all the food was simple but very tasty. The staff inside were friendly and happy to explain the menu which made a big difference. Although the restaurant itself won't win any prizes for appearance, it is simple, basic and completely functional, with the food the biggest winner of the day. Will be coming back.
The editors' high rating is well-deserved! Initially I was skeptical but despite the "greasy spoon" appearance of the restaurant, the food and ambience are outstanding! Definitely worth a stop. In fact, you probably want to arrive early or book well in advance if you want to be be sure you get seated.