Sunday, August 20, 2017

Running wild at The Street with wine and fish fingers

The Street, early evening, before the crowds arrive. Yadanar / The Myanmar TimesThe Street, early evening, before the crowds arrive. Yadanar / The Myanmar Times

The opening night of The Street bar and restaurant in Yangon last December presented a carnival-like spectacle of dancing dwarfs, jesters on stilts and female models decorated with body paint, all strutting among the standing tables around which guests were huddled, gorging on buffet food and drinking free beer. The soundtrack for this unusual display was provided by a deejay spinning hip-hop tunes from his booth at the edge of the open terrace where much of the aforementioned action was unfolding.

Jump forward two months for another visit to The Street, located at Mya Yeik Nyo Hotel in Bahan township. Gone are the people of restrictive growth, the sky-clowns, the epidermically embellished ladies, and certainly gone is the free beer, but the throngs are still here, mostly young Myanmar socialites who crowd in after 8pm and tend to stay until around midnight, when many drift off to clubs to get their fix of 120bpm remixes of pop songs that probably should never have been recorded in the first place, let alone subjected to remixing.

It must be the prospect of dancing in da club that prompts this exodus. Myanmar kids seem to harbour serious reservations about shaking their rump-pahs at the more bar-like venues around town, which is too bad, because the music at The Street is infinitely better, and more danceable, than the aural rot foisted upon the unfortunate youth of Yangon by dance-club deejays.

But more on the music later. First let’s pause to take in the atmosphere of The Street.

As the name suggests, the bar/restaurant has been designed with an urban street theme in mind. There’s a wall with whimsical street signs attached, and there are directional arrows painted on the concrete terrace. There is also a brick wall with a mural of some dude on a motocross bike smashing through, which is not very urban or street-y, but it’s pretty cool so what the heck.

Aside from the huge outdoor terrace, where most of the tables are located (the standing tables of opening night have been replaced with the normal kind around which it is possible to sit in chairs), there are also some booths inside, as well as a rooftop with comfy chairs and sofas. There’s no shortage of places to sit, eat and drink.

The Street offers a fairly predictable menu of snacks and appetisers, salads, European food (pan-fried red snapper, K7500; grilled beef tenderloin, K6000; fish and chips, K4000) and Asian standbys (hot and sour chicken, K5000; Thai curry pork, K5000; fried rice, K2500; fried watercress, K2000).