Note: The Myanmar Times reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals.
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.
At the risk of suggesting Yangon streets are normally well-lit, carefully maintained thoroughfares, the eerie darkness and lurking street dogs make Pazundaung’s 46th Street especially intimidating. But then you see it: Steak Out, Yangon’s newest steakhouse.
I am unsure at what stage in the course of human evolution we decided that drinking out of light bulbs was cool. Nevertheless, here I find myself, squabbling with a server in newly opened restaurant Eatfinity about whether a light bulb is an appropriate receptacle in which to serve my Thai milk tea. Edison must be turning in his grave.
Every afternoon, Tarmwe township teems with energy. If you turn the corner on Tadipahtan Street around 3pm on a given afternoon, you’ll find locals queuing up for the opening of a small, unassuming shop called The Aw Kwae Kyi Shop, run by U Ta Yoke and his wife.
Melia Yangon, by the new Myanmar Plaza, probably isn’t a place you’d want to find yourself alone at night. Not that it’s dangerous: just that the yawning entrance hall is post-apocalyptically quiet, like some kind of futuristic, urban dystopia. What makes The Market worth visiting is that it offers exactly what we’ve all been waiting for: “bottomless brunch”, except for dinner, every day.