Mingalaba is one of our favorite local Southeast Asian restaurants. Don't be surprised to find always find a line out the door — the food really is that good!
Description & Atmosphere
The neighborhood gem is located on the Peninsula in the heart of Burlingame — on Burlingame Avenue, opposite the Copenhagen Bakery & Cafe. The restaurant is quite small so it fills up quickly, especially during peak dining times, so be prepared to wait if you don't have a reservation (4 or more people only). Write your name on the sign-in sheet at the front entrance and wait for your name to be called.
If you haven't tried Burmese or Mandarin cuisine yet, you're in for a real treat. We highly recommend starting with one of their tasty salads — Tea Leaf Salad, Ginger Salad, Mango Salad, Green Papaya Salad, Rainbow Salad and Chinese Chicken Salad. One portion can easily be split between two people, especially if you're ordering an entree or two.
Our favorite salads are the Lap Pat Dok (Tea Leaf Salad) and the Ginger Salad. Their unique flavors and textures make them both equally delicious.
The popular Tea Leaf Salad includes imported Burmese tea leaves, tomatoes, cabbage, dried shrimp (or vegetarian), fried garlic, sesame seeds, peanuts, jalapenos, and split yellow peas. All of the salad ingredients are featured separately on the plate. It's fun to watch as your server mixes everything together at your table — watch short video above to see how it's done.
Note: Depending on how spicy you like your food, you may want to ask for the jalapenos on the side.
Everything we've tried here so far has been incredibly flavorful, including the Coconut Chicken Soup (available with Noodles) and the Hot & Sour Soup.
One of our favorite entrees is the Pumpkin Yellow Chicken (dark meat, spicy only) — it's served in a pumpkin! A few scoops of the curry-pumpkin sauce over Coconut Rice is pure magic.
The Prawns with Assorted Vegetables and the Pan Fried String Beans with Prawns are also excellent. Ditto the Burmese Style Curry Chicken (pictured below), Basil Spicy Eggplant, Asparagus Spicy Fish, the Combination Fried Rice (Chicken, Shrimp & Pork), Walnut Broccoli with Tofu, and the Burmese Style Vegetable Curry Deluxe (served spicy only; the Curry is made with Squash, Eggplant, Lentils, Cauliflower and Potatoes).
Note: Most Burmese dishes can be prepared Vegetarian. Spicy dishes and Burmese Specials are indicated on the menu. Brown Rice is also available.
Lunch Combinations and Specials (available weekdays only) are excellent value.
Beverages include a variety of teas, soft drinks, Perrier, Pellegrino and Beer.
We also love the Fresh Young Coconut drink — served in a fresh young coconut! It's so refreshing and the coconut can be scooped out afterwards.
Open daily for lunch
Reservations for 4 or more people only — groups aren't seated until everyone arrives.
Expect to wait during peak dining times — don't forget to write your name on the sign-in sheet at the front entrance.
Street parking; nearby parking lots
Friendly and efficient
Reasonably priced — good value, especially lunch-time specials Note: No personal checks
During the day, Burlingame Avenue is a FUN place to go shopping — before or after your meal. Guys... there's an Apple store located just up the road so you can always do what we do if you're with your honey — split up for half an hour or more and meet up afterwards. It works for us!
We can't wait to go back to Mingalaba again — we'll see you there!