Mingalaba – Burlingame, CA

My manager at work has been raving about Mingalaba to me since I started working there and we finally head over for a team lunch on day just because. The place got super packed once it was past noon so make sure to make reservations or head over before noon.

Not a very big restaurant with a little over a dozen tables.

Menu; I really liked the lunch combination and lunch specials – instead of limiting diners to only a few options, the lunch special was a very extensive list of their signature dishes:

Amazingly extensive menu: A full page of appetizers and salad, full page of noodles, rice, chicken, seafood, meat and vegetarian options each.

We ordered:

2 orders vegetarian Samusas @ $7.95 each

Decent samusa albeit a tad too oily for my liking. Stuffed with potatoes and mixed veggies (corn, peas and carrots that were suspiciously like the frozen stuff from the freezer section of the grocery store) and seasoned with curry. Served with a sweet spicy sauce.

2 orders Pratha w Curry @ $6.95 each

The roti was pretty good as well. Again a tad too oily and not as flaky as I would have liked. It is suspiciously just like the frozen Pratha that I get at the Asian Stores. The two curry sauces it was served with was excellent! One was more on the sweet side like a chutney while the other was spicy and packful of flavour.
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2 orders Lunch Combination: Pan Fried Okra Prawns w Tea Lead Salad $11.95 + $1 upgrade

When I saw this on the menu, I just had to order it! Luckily for me, the two ladies that are dining family style with me were huge okra fans as well. The shrimp was lightly floured and deep fried, tossed in a sweet, salty and spicy sauce and of course fried with the okra. Delicious and well balanced dish and perfect with rice.
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House Special Noodle $9.50

Flat noodle with coconut chicken, lime leaves, yellow pea’s powder, onion and fried thin noodle on the top

This dish is a killer! Silky flat rice noodles and crunchy egg noodles smothered in a creamy curry sauce that is that rich, sweet and salty. Served with some lime and fresh cilantro leaves that gives it an additional dimension and bite. I love this dish!!!
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Basil Spicy Chicken $8.50

Chicken with basil, garlic, green chilies and bell peppers

The least favourite of the day. The chicken was dry and the sauce was very one note. It was too much like the orange chicken one would get at any fast food chinese place with a hint of basil. Only after working on this post that I noticed they have orange chicken on the menu! o_O
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2 orders Rangoon Beef @ $9.25 each

I can’t say no to Rangoon beef at a Burmese restaurant – the beef was really tender and seasoned perfectly with a nice sweet and salty balance. Stir fried briefly with some chilies, tomatoes and peppers; the cilantro and lemon gave it a nice freshness. Perfect with white rice.
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Mango Tofu $9.95

I would never order a vegetarian dish but HK is vegetarian and she loved the dish. I had a piece of everything and I got to say; those were amazing mangoes! The spice that it was tossed in with the beans and tofu made the mangoes extremely sweet. The beans were blanched and sauteed perfectly and the tofu were nice deep fried pieces with soft centre.
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Fish Filet with Black Bean Sauce $9.25
This dish was way at the end of the table and I forgot to take a picture or even take a bite of it. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that my manager was the one that ordered this dish. *sheepish grin* Don’t get me wrong, my whole team including the director of the group is aware of my obsession with taking food pics eventhough I try to be super subtle and not be in anyone’s way. I remember my first week there and everyone was asking how come I was not taking pictures and now everyone pauses before eating. *big love for the team*

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Extras:
We had the options to add rice and drinks to the combinations at these prices:
Add to Lunch Special 4 Iced Teas @ $1.95 each
Upgrade Fried Rice $1.50
Upgrade Coconut Rice $1.95
Coconut Rice $3.50
Young Coconut $4.25

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Total Damage: $164.65 (including tax & tip)

Personal Rating: 3.75 (Very very good)

I got to say, over 75% of the dishes were excellent! A couple of them were not great but those were not the signature Burmese dishes. The Burmese dishes were delicious and the reason that would get me going back.

The prices are very reasonable and the lunch combination specials are a great considering it comes with tea leaf salad that on its own cost almost 80% of the combination. The lunch specials were generous portions at a fraction of the cost to dine during dinner.

Service was pretty good, they were very accommodating when it came to dealing with large groups and how we wanted the checks split up. That said, our server was quite slow and confused half the time because we kept having to repeat the orders to her. And the appetisers came out fairly quickly but mains were not consistent, a couple of the diners didn’t even get their food till the rest of us were halfway through the meal.

I probably won’t come back for a work lunch because it just takes too long but I would go back for dinner in a heartbeat.

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Mingalaba

1213 Burlingame Avenue,
Burlingame, CA  94010

(650) 343 3228

Mingalaba Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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