Skip the $70 Tasting Menu, and Try Mandalay’s $20 Brunch
I’ve been to Mandalay’s Shaw outpost about four times now, and every time, the Burmese restaurant has been almost completely empty. I can’t help but think that the place doesn’t draw more crowds because the only dinner option when it initially opened was a seven-course tasting menu for $70. That’s a lot of money for a cuisine most people aren’t familiar with from a chef most people have never heard of. It’s also a lot when you consider that chef Aung Myint modeled the menu after Little Serow and Thai X-ing, which both charge at least $20 less. (Mandalay's prix-fixe menu is also a lot more than Myint initially anticipated it would be.)
While I find it hard to justify $70 at Mandalay, there are actually deals that have kept me coming back. The restaurant offers an à la carte lounge menu of curries and salads downstairs with no item more than $10 (plus free soup when it’s really cold). A few weeks ago, Mandalay also introduced a $20 Sunday brunch deal that includes Jasmine fried rice (try the three-onion and pepyoke), salad, curry, and a Burmese iced coffee. The crunchy, spicy salads tend to be some of the best items, including one with pickled sour mustard greens, raw onion, and sesame seeds and another with romaine hearts, tomato, cabbage, sesame, peanuts, and choice of aged dried beef or bacon.
For an extra $8, Mandalay also has one of the better micheladas I’ve tried recently, with Singha beer, mustard green pickle brine, and a housemade hot sauce (see above). Wine bottles are also half-price all day on Sundays.
The brunch begins at 2 p.m. and goes all day on Sunday. Check out the full menu below.