I recently found myself back in the Bay Area for work, and i’ve been eager to further my culinary exploits.
Mingalaba was recommended as excellent Burmese cuisine in nearby Burlingame, a beautiful city in San Mateo County. Burlingame is known as the “City of Trees” due to the number of trees within the city (18,000 public trees – Wikipedia). I immediately noticed this as I spent much of my youth in Bloomington, Indiana. A “Tree City” for nearly 20 straight years.
I wanted to try the Burmese tea to start, which I was told is like a Thai Iced Tea. It was basically the same thing, I couldn’t detect a difference in the tea blend, if there was one. Great presentation though, no complaints.
One of the things I like about carrying a camera around is people notice, and seat you quickly, and for some reason our food came out far quicker than the other tables 😉
Our first dish was a Lahpet, a pickled Tea Leaf Salad. I’ve had this dish at a few other restaurants and this was an excellent authentic rendition. Full of crunchy roasted peanuts, sesame, cabbage, and crisp fried garlic.
It was brought out separated, as most of the dishes were, and then mixed table side. I loved this dish.
We next had a Burmese Beef Curry, which was not as spicy as I would imagined but filled with good flavors. It seemed more like a stew than a curry, but I was voracious and loved the rich flavor.
The rainbow chicken reminded me of Kung Pao chicken, sweet and nicely cooked. This dish didn’t really do much for me.
Normally I don’t really do heavy carbohydrates at dinner with the exception of rice dishes and Ramen. The Burmese noodles we ordered were really delicious – mixed with a spoon and a squeeze of lime at the table.
Our side dishes were a coconut rice, and Burmese rice with cashews and fried onions. The Burmese rice was great; fragrant thai style rice with loads of cashews. I would of liked these sides a little hotter, but the flavors were on point.
We were given a complimentary mango dessert(which I didn’t see anyone else getting); nothing to write home about and most likely had been sitting loosely covered on the refrigerator shelf for a while.
I was anticipating something a bit creamier, more pudding like. It was a lovely gesture, and our service here overall was really good.
I will most certainly go back to Mingalaba, the food and service were solid, as well as the dining options.