I've read and heard great things about Mandalay in Silver Spring, but based on our experience last night, I was definitely not impressed.
My husband, our two kids and I got there a little after seven and confronted a much bigger crowd than I would have expected on a cold tuesday night. We sat down and waited for exactly nineteen minutes to see a waiter. (I counted the minutes as we were sitting just under the clock). The waiter took our drink order with our dinner order and disappeared.
We waited another fifteen minutes for our drinks and two appetizers of fried shrimp and a chicken soup. Shrimp were nicely friend but the sauce was bland and the soup was tasty. Overall, the soup was the best dish of the evening.
My sons split the chicken in a light brown sauce while I ordered flat noodles with chicken and my husband ordered beef in a basil sauce. All disappointed. The chicken dish actually had very little chicken in it -- just small slivers -- and the sauce, again, was bland. My kids, who normally can't finish a dish between them, fought over the last bits of chicken in the bottom of the dish. My noodle dish was awful: the dish did not have the kind of texture I would expect or the combinations of flavors such as sweet/sour and crunchy/smoooth. Noodles were gloppy and the chicken, again, bland (sorry to keep using that word so much but it best describes the flavors). My husband's beef was the worst. The meat was tough, stringy, of poor quality and generally tasteless. Sauce was MIA.
Waited another fifteen minutes for the check. I was by now too tired and cranky to even think about dessert.
Maybe I will like the restaurant better when I can go without my kids, who certainly weren't up for the long waits. Maybe I will choose better dishes from the menu next time and perhaps the service will improve on future visits. I've heard so many positive comments on the restaurant I hate to give up after just one bad night. But, honestly, I am not inclined to go back and give them another try.