Note: The Myanmar Times reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals.
There is a common fallacy among gourmands and uninspired restaurant critics that a small menu is a mark of a good restaurant. After all, a restaurant that specialises in only one thing must sure as hell be good at it – right? Not always.
Two weeks ago, I visited Nyaung Shwe in Southern Shan State for the first time and I wondered what restaurants and bars this small city had to offer. This city is a tourist stop for those making their way up to Inle Lake for trekking.
Few Yangonites realise that Japanese expats make up more than one-quarter of foreigners living in the city. Oreno Kitchen, the latest addition on Nawaday Street in the already-restaurant-heavy Yaw Min Gyi district, is much like any neighbourhood yakitori shop in Tokyo, with the minor Myanmar twist of an occasional blackout.
Located on the lower block of Bo Aung Kyaw Street, The Envoy looks likely to break the recent pattern of vintage Edison light bulbs, distressed metal fixtures and uninspiring cocktail menus in Yangon’s downtown bar scene. We'll be all the better for it.
With all the fanfare and ballyhoo that accompanies the opening – and, in many cases, abrupt closing – of a new restaurant in Yangon, long-standing neighbourhood favourites can be easily forgotten. Rakhine restaurant Yar Maung Thar (Minbya), on 29th Street, is one such place.
Four months after US President Barack Obama plonked down on a plastic stool at Bun Cha Huong Lien for a bowl of Hanoi’s signature pork noodles, the restaurant is cashing in on customers eager to taste what all the fuss is about.
Since I was recovering from a bout of flu, a healthy restaurant seemed like a good idea. Luckily, one has opened just a few minutes’ walk from my office: Healthy Me, in front of Ruby Mart on the corner of Bogyoke and Pansodan roads, proved to be exactly what I was waiting for.
Readers of Charles Dickens would be forgiven for thinking orphanages are rather joyless places, but anyone who has visited Mr Jones’ Orphanage in Bangkok will know that they can in fact be splendiferous places of extreme bliss, filled with giant teddy bears, mountains of chocolate lava cake and miniature bottles of strawberry milk. Good news for would-be orphans then, as Mr Jones recently opened a branch of his famous orphanage-inspired café on the top floor of Myanmar Plaza.