Food Discovery: Kaw Soi Dok


For starters, with a name like “kaw soi dok”, you cannot go wrong. Our family loves dishes from Asia that have these “sing-song” names that we turn into really awful tunes interspersed with tons of laughter.  Oddly enough, my husband and I used to make up these “pad kee mao“, “katsu-katsu curry” etc. songs (the “katsu” song even came with a silly chicken-like dance) even before we had kids. Mandalay, on California and 6th in San Francisco is one of our favorite places to hit when we are craving a little something Asian and feel the need for creating some (silly) tunes.  They also have a killer side sambal which is worth the trip alone.

Our little one loves the “Mandalay special noodles” – which are noodles in a mild chicken or tofu curry sauce, but the grown-ups are addicted to the to the “kaw soi dok”.  Think eggs noodles tossed with fried crispy shallots, fried garlic chips, cucumber slices, ground split peas (a Burmese mainstay) and a dressing that is nutty, tangy and zesty.  It is all in the dressing, and someone needs to break the recipe down for me.  The rest of the menu is stellar as well (LOVE the tea leaf salad and the dry pan fried string beans).

Plus, it’s always Christmas at Mandalay with the “gaudy and shiny” decorations (a hit with the kiddos) – it’s an Indian restaurant meets a Thai restaurant – and that pretty much defines the food as well.  And of course now, I am craving “kaw soi dok” and humming an odd little tune….

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