Months back, someone asked about Mandalay Cafe in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood; I was out of town for a few months at that time, but I'm back, and as promised, I tried them out.
Formerly known as Janny's Curry House, curries are most assuredly their specialty. We tried both the vegetable and the beef curries. We really liked the way they were served - the curries were in a big gravy boat, along with a plate of a large wedge of rice, and a diced cucumber salsa-esque side.
The curries were flavorful, nicely spiced without being painful, filling, good-quality. The beef was nicely tender and flavorful, and the veggies were crisp and fresh. They also do curries with chicken, lamb, and several specialties with your choice of main items (tofu, chicken, beef, prawns, mixed seafood) - Thai green, Laotian lemongrass, pineapple Panang, and Sumatran white (with ground macadamias, almonds and cashews.)
The soup that night was a magnificent, creamy, roasted taro-root with garlic and onions, and we also had the lotus bread (flat bread with herbs and a buttery chutney.)
They also have a variety of starters, noodle bowls, and salads, which all had yummy descriptions in the menu.
Plusses: As a picky - er, I mean, "selective" eater, I always appreciate a restaurant with a highly descriptive menu. I don't like surprises (like mushrooms, to which I'm allergic.) The food was tops - I'm no curry expert, so I can't give a comparison or comment on authenticity, but it was really good, so that counts for something!
Minuses: There were two servers on duty that night - one was lively and welcoming, the other was silent and seemed bored. Guess who we got? She didn't even tell us about the evening's special (a swordfish dish); we overheard the other server describe it, after we had ordered. Our pot of tea (a very hearty, rich, black Congou) came without a filter, and it took the server ten minutes to get us one.
I've not looked at their website yet, but it's at www.mandalayspice.com.
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