In January, we were graciously invited by our good friend to dine at Mandalay Restaurant, which is located in East Scarborough, Toronto. We actually wanted to visit last year, however, due to school and my trip back home to Vancouver, we were unable to find a suitable time until the new year.
Mandalay Restaurant is a fine dining establishment serving a fusion of Western and South Asian cuisine, in the Toronto suburbs of East Scarborough. The restaurant is tucked away like a hidden gem in a small shopping strip. I’m not aware of too many fine dining restaurants in the outskirts of Downtown Toronto, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn about this restaurant! Overall, the entree dishes on the menu are something you would expect to see more in downtown.
The intimate setting is probably the greatest appeal to the restaurant and is a very convenient place to eat for suburbians who are seeking that quality dining experience near home. Though it is more suitable for special occasions, I wouldn’t think twice about going for lunch or dinner on non-occasion nights either. The entrees are moderately priced and are more affordable than other fine dining restaurants in the downtown core. The ambiance was very relaxed with a rather romantic feel, (a great place to have a date!).
The variety of food offered is quite amazing for a smaller, independent restaurant. While perusing the menu, I was very impressed to see that they offer bison and kangaroo on a regular basis. Overall, they have a lot of variation for both those who prefer a lighter meal and those who want to indulge a little bit more!
I’m not sure whether it was because we kept taking pictures, but the calamari was a bit cold and soggy by the time we ate it. Alternatively, we really enjoyed the Warm Spinach Salad, with honey dijon dressing, mushrooms and bacon bits, one of the more popular appetizers we learned. I love the idea of warm salad, especially on a cold winter day!
The appetizer-sized naan pizza with sautéed mushrooms, tomato and goat cheese was also another excellent recommendation. I really enjoyed this fusion dish and all the savoury caramelized flavours of the vegetables balanced well with each other. The amount of goat cheese was not overpowering and gave the dish that extra satisfying richness.
We were spoiled by the assortment of appetizers, so by the time the entrées came, I was nearly full! But you know what they say, when in Rome…
Ricelessasian ordered the Stuffed Chicken, a generous piece of chicken breast filled with an assortment of mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese. The dish was also accompanied with grilled vegetables and pineapple. The chicken was drier than we would have preferred, but the roasted vegetables were cooked perfectly, nicely tender and packed with a pleasant caramelized flavour.
I had a craving for some steak so I ordered the 10 oz. New York Striploin (AAA quality) with mushroom gravy, roasted potatoes and grilled mixed vegetables. The steak was cooked perfectly medium rare and was juicy and tender. I really enjoyed the mushroom glaze, which I felt complemented the meaty flavour of the striploin very well. The portions were very large in general and we thought it was amazing value for the price.
Needless to say, by the time dessert came, we were very full. If you know me or Ricelessasian, we have major sweet tooths! We don’t necessarily like very sweet pastries, but we both appreciate a good dessert to end a meal.
Coincidentally (or not), we both picked the same dessert to order – which was the Raspberry Mousse Cake. I noticed that their desserts are not currently featured on their website menu, possibly because the dessert menu changes from time to time. The mousse cake was very pretty and the slice was a very generous portion compared to other places I have eaten at. I really enjoyed the mousse part – maybe more so than the chocolate cake layer. We also had a sample of the Grand Marnier Cheesecake which had a refreshing orangey flavour to it. The liquer was quite subtle and the graham cracker crust wasn’t too sweet. Overall, we both enjoyed this cheesecake, and we regretted not ordering this initially! Haha.
The service was very attentive and we didn’t feel rushed throughout our entire meal. The restaurant also has an impressive wine collection, which we hope to try on our next visit.
The food quality and attractive plating speaks for itself and I would highly recommend it to any friends or family who are in the area!
3478 Lawrence Ave E C3
Toronto, ON M1H 3E5
*Disclaimer: Our meal at Mandalay Restaurant was comped. However, all of our opinions regarding the food and dining experience are our own.