Hilton Mandalay

With some of the best vegan food we tasted in Myanmar, an awesome location opposite the Royal Palace and a huge pool to cool off from the heat; the Hilton Mandalay has it all.

Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar and this once royal capital is now a major trading hub as well as one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Home to sights like Mandalay Hill, Kuthadaw Pagoda (known as the World’s Largest Book) and the sacred Mahamuni Buddha Temple, a stay in Mandalay is a must for most who visit Myanmar.

The hotel is located facing Mandalay Hill and is within walking distance of the Royal Palace, making it a great base for sightseeing (there are also complementary bicycles for those keen to get out and see the city on two wheels). But the hotel itself offers much temptation to stay inside too.

The facade of Hilton Mandalay
Hilton Mandalay accross the moat surrounding the Royal Palace

Rooms are modern with views of the hotel gardens, Mandalay Hill or the walled Royal Palace. There are a range of options to choose from, including suites with kitchenettes; we stayed in an Executive Room which provided access to the Executive Lounge which offers breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails and canapés (all can be veganised with notice).

There’s a huge outdoor pool perfect for swimming or lounging, a well equipped gym if you’re feeling more active and five on-site dining options (it was the food that really won our hearts; read on to find out why).

Swimming pool at Hilton Mandalay
Executive room at Hilton Mandalay

The Vegan Food

Breakfast offers a wide choice of options for vegans who can select from the buffet as well as enjoy dishes made to order by a team of helpful chefs who are keen to show off the cuisine of Myanmar as well as the Indian influenced dishes that are enjoyed throughout the country.

There was a good range of fruit, nuts, dried fruit and cereals as well as juice and bread for those wanting a lighter breakfast. For those of us that want to enjoy a more leisurely vegan feast to welcome the day, specially prepared options included a mild potato curry, freshly made Chinese donuts (these are actually savoury sticks of fried dough and are dangerously good), roti filled with spiced chick peas, deep fried lentil flour donuts (called vada in India) served with a tamarind, chilli and coriander sauce. And just in case all this delicious vegan food wasn’t enough, they also made us a vegan version of ‘mohinga’, the nation’s breakfast soup made with a tasty coconut milk broth and wheat noodles.

Vegan breakfast in Bungkus at Hilton Mandalay
Vegan stuffed paratha at Hilton Mandalay

Dinner at Moat, the hotel’s bar and grill restaurant may not seem like it could be the most vegan friendly option but trust us, it was impressive. Start with a glass of vegan wine in the conservatory (they stock vegan options from Yalumba and Oxford Landing) before switching to a table in the restaurant where (with advance notice) the chef and his team can make you a vegan banquet that’s sure to be a highlight of your trip to Myanmar.

Just to tempt you, expect to be seduced by their ‘laphet’ (fermented tea leaf salad), loaded with fresh garlic and served with chilli to nibble on for added spice. Enjoy a fresh, green, pennywort salad, rich with iron and full of health giving nutrients and a corn salad that is sweet and fresh with chilli, lime and shallots, after this, move on to the soup, made from gungo peas which are a staple ingredient in Myanmar, and rice noodles and topped with crispy shallots.

Vegan dips in Moat Restaurant at Hilton Mandalay
Selection of vegan food at Hilton Mandalay

Don’t forget to leave room to experience something from the grill; a plate full of delicious chargrilled veg like enoki mushrooms, lotus root, potatoes and okra. These were a perfect complement to the butter bean curry which was soothing to eat and flavoured with turmeric, ginger and tomato. No meal in this country is complete without an accompanying salad or two and the addition of a spicy hot, fresh ginger salad, full of crispy fried beans and a smoky eggplant salad flavoured with sesame and peanut oil was a nice touch.

The final dishes we were served in what turned out to be a true culinary adventure, included oil rich, slow cooked eggplant that was wonderfully soft and decadent but with a chilli kick to finish, a peanut vegetable curry with sesame, chilli and fermented bean paste (another traditional ingredient) and a vegetable dish that was full of delicious chargrilled crunchy lotus root. Oh and there was rice, tossed with fermented tea leaves and peanut. And dessert, which was a serving of ‘moln ye baw’; rice flour dumplings filled with palm sugar.

Yes the vegan food at Hilton Mandalay is certainly worth travelling for.

Selection of grilled vegetables at Hilton Mandalay
Delicious butter bean curry at Hilton Mandalay
Vegan food at Hilton Mandalay
Vegan dessert at Hilton Mandalay

The Vegan Essentials

We had a choice of vegan pillows from an entire pillow menu (we love these kind of cruelty free options!) and in room bathroom amenities were from Crabtree and Evelyn’s ‘Lemon Verbena’ range and we are unsure if these are suitable for vegans.

The Vegan Food Quest Verdict

Make a reservation at Hilton Mandalay to enjoy this modern, well located hotel with all the extras you’ll need to ensure maximum comfort and relaxation during your stay.

Enjoy exceptional vegan food served with a smile, don’t forget to make time to organise a vegan dinner at Moat Bar and Grill for a delicious, mini vegan food tour of Myanmar.

Highly recommended.

Vegan Food Quest small banner logo

We were guests of Hilton Mandalay but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.

Hilton Mandalay
26th St and 66th St,
Mandalay 11121,
Myanmar.

Telephone: +95 2 403 6488
Email: mdlay_hotel@hilton.com
Cost From:
£70 / $95 (May 2018)