Downtown Yangon is lousy with hole-in-the-wall eateries. There are so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to decide which one to duck into while walking around looking for some way to appease the gnawing emptiness in your stomach.
Unfortunately, not many of these establishments can be held up as paragons of cleanliness, and some are almost guaranteed to augment the amount of time you spend sitting on the toilet re-reading the domestic in-flight magazine you swiped from the airplane during your last visit to Mandalay.
A few months ago a new hole-in-the-wall called Y2T opened on the upper block of Bo Aung Kyaw Road in Kyauktada township, and it has managed to set itself apart from many of the other holes in the wall in the immediate vicinity.
For starters it seems to maintain an unusually high standard of cleanliness, in both the kitchen and the dining room. I’ve eaten there more than a dozen times and my gastrointestinal system has registered no complaints.
The food is simple but tasty, featuring typical Chinese selections plus standbys like fried rice and fried noodles. The fried rice (K1200) makes a decent lunchtime meal, with fresh vegetables and white raisins added for a nice, sweet touch. The friendly proprietors also serve fresh fruit with every order, even if it’s only a single mug of draught beer.
The drink selection is basic but their soft drinks are a delightfully frosty treat on a hot summer afternoon, as Y2T possesses a refrigerator that one of my colleagues described as the “coldest in Yangon”.
With an unusually large whisky selection and mugs of Myanmar beer costing only K600, it’s also not a bad place to sit outside in the evening and watch all da ruff G’s drop by the adjacent RUN YGN shop to stock up on glittery baseball caps, droopy pants and other essential gangsta gear.
The attractive alcohol selection also means that Y2T is a magnet for midday drinkers, and the atmosphere inside can be a bit heady with spirit fumes and cigarette smoke. The poor ventilation also means that being there when they happen to be frying chillies in the kitchen is a bit like sustaining a mustard gas attack during the Battle of the Somme.
There is an upstairs area with air conditioning, but the low ceiling makes it feel a bit like hunkering down in a Hobbit hole.
333 Bo Aung Kyaw Road, Kyauktada Township, Yangon.
Food : 8
Drink : 7
Service : 8
Atmosphere : 6
X Factor : 6
Value for Money : 8
Score BOX : 7/10