When we saw that there was going to be another pan-Asian restaurant Georgetown (OK, I know that Pei Wei’s is not really in GT, but its close enough.) I was pretty thrilled, and the wife and I went there soon after it opened. I always enjoy eating at Pei Wei's, and it makes a good "yardstick" to measure the quality of Mama Fu's.
When we arrived at Mama Fu's about 5:30PM the place was, as expected for a new restaurant, very busy.
The interior compares favorably vs. Pei Wei’s, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that at Mama Fu's ordering is done while seated at your table, and not while standing in front of a counter. Another point in Mama Fu's favor was that compared to Pei Wei's it is relatively quiet. I mean the place was packed, but my wife and I could still have a conversation without needing to yell at one another. Impossible at Pei Wei's.
My wife ordered the Vegetable Roll appetizer and the Thai Basil Noodle entrée. I ordered the Beef Curry Roll appetizer and the Pad Thai Curry with beef.
Our appetizers were brought to the table within ten minutes, and my Beef Curry Roll was outstanding. A crisp shell filled with a minced savory beef well seasoned with curry powder. Considering that the Beef Curry Roll was so very tasty it was strange to me that the Vegetable Roll had very little to recommend it. The same tasty dipping sauce came with both appetizers.
Pei Wei has nothing like Mama Fu's terrific Beef Curry Roll, but their Spring Roll is far superior to Mama Fu's Veggie Roll.
The Red Thai Curry with beef had, in my opinion, insufficient curry flavor and heat. However, the sliced beef in the dish was very tender, and the vegetables had a nice crunch. All in all, the dish was barely acceptable. Pei Wei's has several dishes that are superior; like their Thai Mango Beef or Thai Coconut Curry.
Sadly, the Thai Basil Noodles with vegetables had little flavor; with mushy noodles and bland vegetables there was nothing to make it worth eating. Pouring in some of the dipping sauce that came with the appetizers helped flavor the dish.
The wife did not feel that her entrée was as bad as I, and insisted that the remainder be taken home.
We will certainly give Mama Fu’s another chance, (I must try their lettuce wraps.) but for the moment in my opinion it compares unfavorably to Pei Wei’s.