Sunday, August 20, 2017

La phet yay goes high class

The Rangoon Tea House on Pansodan Street is a delicious fusion of Yangon’s rich street food tradition and the city’s more recent trend towards boutique dining. Both tourists and La phet yay connoisseurs should make a point to check out this newest addition to downtown’s rapidly expanding restaurant scene.

True to its name, the establishment takes tea very seriously. Every menu comes with a chart that helpfully color-codes the specific ratios of black tea, steamed milk, and condensced milk in the over 30 permutations of La Pey Ye offered by the kitchen.

On the food side, Rangoon Tea House offers many local staples with a gourmet twist. For my own meal, I enjoyed a bowl of organic mohingya with a side of fried chicken cutlets sweetened with lemongrass.

The portions on both were quite generous, and left this critic too stuffed to sample some of the promising dessert options. Other options include samosa, grilled minced kebab, and of course tea leaf salad.

Saying this food is a good value for the money is bound to be controversial. Some may ask why a person should pay K5000 for mohingya or tea-leaf salad when you can get the same for K500 only a few blocks away.

All due respect to the sidewalk chefs who make this city run, but the dishes at Rangoon Tea house are expertly prepared and well-worth the extra cash.

Every individual piece of my mohingya, from the broth to the hard-boiled egg to the pieces of ei kyar kway was top shelf, clearly the work of a kitchen with a deep appreciation for the recipes they’re recreating.

The restaurant itself occupies the first floor of one of the old colonial structures along Pansodan Street, and makes excellent use of the space. The ceiling is high and the wide windows flood the room with natural light, which makes exactly the kind of place one would want to while away the afternoon sipping tea.