Monday, February 7, 2011

Cafe Mingala Burmese Food - Restaurant Review






    {Above: Theresa on left Aisha Foodista on the right}  
  {Right: Top: Zoe - Bottom: Thousand Layer Pancakes}



I went to Café Mingala on 73rd and 2nd  for the first time last night with my friends, Theresa and Zoe. Theresa ordered the Chili Chicken and Zoe, the Chicken Curry with Potatoes. I got the Mango Chicken. We shared the Mango Salad and Thousand Layered Pancakes.



The Mango Salad with thinly sliced mango, lettuce and carrots was refreshing. It had sweet and flowery notes from the mango and salty, vinegar notes from the dressing. I also tasted hints of ginger and toasted peanuts. The salad was a great way to start off our meal even though it was a tad bit over dressed.







The Chicken and Potato Curry came in a dish that looked similar to a North African Tangine. The curry sauce was savory and creamy. It slipped down my throat like a warm soup full of wonderful, comforting flavors. I could taste smokiness from spices like cumin and turmeric,  sweet notes from ginger and anise seed, and a rounded out acidity from slow & low cooked tomatoes.  







The potatoes were tender and absorbed all the flavors of the curry sauce. The chicken was so succulent that it feel off of my fork. My friend Zoe really enjoyed it. She liked it so much that there was none left to take home.






The Chili Chicken had strong notes of Chili. I got a huge whiff of it when they brought the dish to the table. However, despite the intoxicating aroma of chili peppers this dish’s bark is worse that its bite. It is not as hot as I thought it was going to be. My friend Theresa gets this every time she goes.






But my favorite was the Mango Chicken and not just because I ordered it. When I think of South East Asian flavors combinations of sweet, savory, salty and spicy come to mind. The Mango Chicken was made up of all of these elements. The chicken strips were packed with mango flavor and had a unique texture. They were juicy on the inside and had a soft coating on the outside. It seemed like they were lightly breaded and then simmered in the incredible mango and coconut milk sauce.  The mango, coconut milk sauce had notes of lime, ginger, cinnamon, coriander and cumin to name a few and was both tangy and sweet.
When I took a  bite, at first, my mouth puckered but then the fattiness of the coconut milk hit my palate and brought a wealth of hidden flavors with it.  

I enjoyed my first time eating Burmese food in NYC at Café Mingala. I definitely recommend it. It would be a good place for a group of friends, family night or a date.

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