Note: The Myanmar Times reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals.
Seng Luangrath, the chef and owner of Washington’s only Lao food restaurant, had never been to the mountain-ringed Mekong River city of Luang Prabang, her home country’s top tourist attraction, and on a summertime visit she was eager to test her tongue.
Yangon restaurants, in my experience, tend to fall into one of three categories: Not bad; not bad for the price; and downright horrific. I firmly suspected The Black Hat Burmese Tapas Wine Bar and Restaurant would be in the latter grouping, if only because any restaurant that tries to be so many things at once usually fails to succeed at any of them. But it's much more, a restaurant so baffling that I’m still not sure quite what to make of it.
It’s not just about pork. Ma Ei’s Pork Stick emporium in Yangon’s Tarmwe township also offers salads with rice, tea leaves, potatoes, bean curd, corn and other non-pork ingredients, for as little as K600 to K800. But if pork is your thing, look no further than Ma Ei’s, which has become something of an institution among Yangon whet thar (pork) lovers.
Twenty years after he returned from Switzerland to Yangon to open his award-winning Yangon restaurant Sharky’s, Ye Htut Win – famously known as “Mr Sharky” – is this week opening a new restaurant in the historic town of Bagan.
Every night, the streets of Myanma Gon Yi Road swell with the usual litany of vendors selling fried snacks and fresh produce. Wading through the night-time crowd in Mingalar Taung Nyunt township can sometimes be dizzying. Small children chase each other through the maze of stalls; bein mont pancakes and pork satay skewers awaken the senses; dogs idle wantonly about the sidewalks.