One of my favorite restaurants, Mandalay Restaurant had closed in October of 2021. This was partly due to the pandemic and partly due to purple line construction on its street. But this past week, it reopened for business. For now, they just have take out. Except for last weekend, Saturday and Sunday Aug 13-14, when there were special lunch and dinner buffets. I went to the very first seating.
The buffet had a mix of vegetarian and meat/dairy dishes. The meat dishes were chicken, curry goat, pork belly, and okra with hard boiled eggs. The vegetarian ones were butter beans, a vegetable curry, chick peas, and graham fritters.
Except for the fritters, I’ve not had any of them before, but was happy to try new dishes. I’m not sure what the chicken dish was, as it was crispy, similar to pork rinds. I’m guessing it is a topping of some sort. My favorite of the meats was the curry goat. Of the vegetables, curry one was my favorite there as well. But all were very good. For dessert, there was some sort of sweet bean curd topped with coconut. It’s a typical dessert, one I’ve had before.
The lunch buffet started at noon. I got there about 15 minutes early, as I was worried there would be a line out the door. That was not the case, but there were as there was already a half dozen people waiting. We were able to pay for the meal and find a seat right away, but had to wait until noon for the food. By that time a dozen or so people showed up, but the lines were short and in no time we had our food. The turn out was decent, but not as jammed packed as I was expecting. I think Mandalay was happy with it, but I do hope more people came to the other seatings. People kept trickling in throughout the meal, so hopefully it was enough.
While talking to the staff, I found out that Mandalay is not the only restaurant hurting from purple line construction. All of the business on Bonifant Street are. To counter this, the county is running a marketing campaign – “Discover Bonifant.” I am heartened that they are doing so, and do plan to support these other business.
I am very happy that Mandalay has reopened. Burmese food is not easily found, and theirs is fantastic.