Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · Diplomacy

Cross Culture · Food · Research 🇸🇬 Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail

Mandalay Style Burmese Restaurant @ Little Myanmar Peninsula Plaza

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Continuing my exploration of Myanmese cuisine in Singapore with Mandalay Style Restaurant. This was my third restaurant tasting at Singapore's "Little Myanmar" at the basement of Peninsula Plaza - the others were Yanant Thit and Inle Myanmar. Four of us, all new to Myanmese cuisine, enjoyed our experience which stretched our culinary horizons a little.

Restaurant name: Mandalay Style


Address: 111 North Bridge Rd, #B1-01 Peninsula Plaza, Singapore 179098


Nearest MRT: City Hall station


Tel: 6962 8895 ☎ 8314 9585


Hours: 12:00 noon - 10:00pm (opens at 10am on Sun)



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The interior of Mandalay Style was surprisingly expansive - it looked like a large, open dining hall. Furnishings were simple, decor was minimal, everyone was cheerful and relaxed, everything was spick and span, we felt very comfortable. Looking around, we were probably the only non Myanmese here today 😄

Mandalay Style Restaurant was founded in 2009 in the basement of Excelsior Shopping Centre (just across the road). The humbler, original outlet still operates there.


Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar, after Yangon. Located along the Irrawaddy River, 716 km north of Yangon, it has a population of over 1 million. Mandalay was founded in 1857 by King Mindon as the new capital of the Konbaung dynasty but it soon fell under the British Empire in 1885. Today, Mandalay is the economic centre of Upper Myanmar and considered the heart of Burmese culture. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.


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Took this picture after we started eating. We had fish, pork, vegetables, rice and soup.

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Mandalay Style has a good selection of popular noodle and rice one-dish meals. Instead of boiled white rice, we opted for this Pickled Tea Leaf Rice as we were curious about Myanmar's tea leaf dishes.

The rice was a little soft and wet, but saturated with savoury sweet and subtly tangy bitter pickled tea leaf flavours which we all enjoyed.

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We wanted a Myanmese style grilled fish and so ordered their Special BBQ Fish without asking too many questions. When the fish was served, I was a little sian (disappointed) when I saw that it was a black tilapia - one of the few fishes I generally avoid because of its pronounced earthly taste and mushy soft flesh.

The fish was grilled wrapped in aluminium foil which means it was, in effect, baked instead of BBQ-ed as named.

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The big black fish came lightly blanketed with pickled tea leaves and coriander. I wished there was more sauce and spices to mask the black fish's earthiness.

It turned out that I need not have worried. The black fish did have a little earthiness but the pickled tea leaves did a good job in masking it without dominating the whole dish. The fish tasted of a blend of earthly sweetness from the fish and herby tangy sweet bitter pickled tea leaf flavours together. The fish meat was soft-mushy as expected but all of us actually liked the fish (though I perhaps, the least wholeheartedly).

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BBQ Pork Tongue. We all enjoyed the lightly marinated grilled tongue's tender-spongy and mild savoury sweet flavour. Served with a savoury tangy spicy dip which I didn't feel the need to use.

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Pickled Tea Leaf Salad (Lahpet Thoke) was a jumble of crunchy shredded vegetables, pickled tea leaf and lots of various types of nuts. In the mouth, the crunchy nuts dominate the textures and flavours. I wished there was more of the subtle savoury tangy herby bitterness of pickled tea leaves.

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Deep Fried Myanmar Tofu. This was recommended to us by the waiter. It was very different from any Chinese tofu. I guessed that the little cakes were fried mashed split pea (it is actually made with chickpea flour). Subtly crisp outside, slightly grainy soft-tender inside. Tastes mildly savoury sweet. Served with a dish of savoury tangy spicy dip. We all liked this.

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We like this Chicken Leg Soup with Vegetables. It was like a gently savoury spicy tom yum soup (sans the sharp edges and intensity of the Thai soup).

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We were enquiring with the waiter about the soups and was served a second soup, Chicken Leg with Suon Tong by mistake (hence the repetition of chicken feet soup 😬 ). The soup had lots of dry tea leaves inside - it was sweetish tangy and we enjoyed it too 😄 

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Myanmar Traditional Tea Pot. We enjoyed this tea. It doesn't have the tannic bitter taste of average Chinese black tea but was sweetish instead. The closest thing I can think of is gingko nut - it tasted like boiled gingko nuts even though it is dried tea leaves. Yeah, I know this doesn't sound intuitive, so you have to try it yourself.

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Can't say we were mind blown by any of the dishes but we enjoyed ourselves and were pleased that we stretched our culinary horizons by a little. We left motivated to explore Myanmese cuisine in Singapore further.
 
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Prices are pretty reasonable.

The other two Myanmese restaurants in Peninsula Plaza


Inle_Myanmar_Restaurant

Inle Myanmar 👈 click
Yanant_Thit_Restaurant

Yanant Thit 👈 click




Written by Tony Boey on 20 Jun 2022


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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't. All comments with genuine identities are published.