It’s almost impossibile to find good, home-style Italian food in Yangon.
So hopes were high when news broke of an ‘Italian kitchen and bar’ opening in the band new Sule Square shopping complex.
The restaurant represents a pan-Asian trend likely to become commonplace here soon enough – high end dining options in a mall environment.
So, while the restaurant exterior is decorated with a European touch, it’s set among the bland tiles and white lights of a shopping centre. Probably the furthest vista possible from a piazza.
But once inside, things definitely feel more Italian. There’s red, white and green flowers, Campari posters and boxes of Barilla pasta on display.
The menu presents a wide variety of antipasti, primi, secondi and pizza. All to be looked over while the requisite bread sticks arrive at the table.
First up we decided on the K6,000 bruschetta. The simple dish is one of Italy’s best exports – toasted bread with oil, basil, diced tomato and garlic. Casa Mia’s version did not disappoint.
Mains included a K12,000 penne al salmone (salmon pasta), a K14,500 pollo alla cacciatora (‘hunter’s style’ chicken) and a K17,000 branzino alla mediterranea (pan-fried seabass with a tomato sauce).
The chicken and the seabass were delicious, thanks to the rich sauces which left us wanting more. The pasta suffered from an opposite problem – too much sauce leaving the dish with a thicker-than-usual feel.
The drink selection was fairly extensive and international. The cocktail list (all K7,000) alone would justify a visit after work or on a Saturday night.
Dessert time is a highlight at any Italian restaurant. We ordered a K7,000 tiramisu tradizionale and a K7,000 panna cotta. Both were a little sweeter than expected, but still tasty. These were accompanied with perfect K3,500 espresso shots.
When the bill arrived, we were surprised at just how much we’d spent. This is indeed Sule Square prices for a Sule Square clientele.
Still, a bit of la dolce vita is a welcome addition to both the neighbourhood and the city.
Sule Square, 221 Sule Pagoda road, Kyauktada township
Restaurant Rating: 3.5/5