Sunday, August 28, 2016

Where to Eat in Yangon

I had to fly to Yangon, Myanmar for work this week and while I've heard that the gem shopping was good, I really didn't have high expectations in terms of enjoying the trip outside of our work agenda. I was pleasantly surprised that Yangon has so much to offer, not just for gem shopping but in terms of food as well.

Yangon is developing so quickly that I can't imagine it's the same place that three or four years back had no credit card facilities and no ATMs. The said you needed to bring cash to settle your hotel bill, and anything else, and they only accepted US dollars in pristine condition, with no folds, writing or marks.

Now, it's just like any other city. You can get a data sim easily from the airport and the traffic is quite bad.

We stayed at the Chatrium Hotel which has a lovely view of the lake. They say that you can even see the Shwedagon Pagoda from your room if they give you one with a view, which I didn't get.

The offices are still old mansions, and our meeting rooms, are at the Lake House, which is literally an old house overlooking the lake.
It must be a joy to do your brainstorming here.

There is a growing expat community in Yangon, so they have a lot of nice restaurants serving different cuisines, and all the meals I had were really good.

Our Filipino colleagues in Myanmar took very good care of us,
aka they fed us really well.

We had an early dinner when we arrived at L'Opera because there is an hour and a half time difference, which you feel the most when your stomach thinks it's time to eat.

Yummy Caprese Salad!
I had to order Eggplant Parmigiana since Sbarro removed it from their menu.
The waiter recommended the Minestrone.
If you order the Onion Soup don't expect it to come
topped with Cheese. This isn't a French Restaurant.
I loved the bacon and cream sauce Pizza which cheesily
came in the shape of a heart. Pun intended.
They served it with balsamic vinegar which gave it
a nice contrast to cut through the other rich ingredients.
The pork chop with rosemary gravy was also good, but I think we just had
too much food so I couldn't eat too much.
Mushroom Risotto with crusted cheese
Save space for dessert because they were also good.
Tiramisu with a side of flame for ambiance. Hahaha.

There is a nice French Restaurant in front of our office, where we had lunch on the first day. Le Planteur is also an old house by the lake which was so well restored. 
They have a gift shop which ignored on purpose
because I am trying to stop buying stuff.
Seriously! But gems don't count.
They have a lot of antiques around the place that add
to the ambiance. You can actually buy one of these old
record players from the street vendors near the market.
The house even comes complete with an old car.

You have a choice of a 45-minute lunch (2 courses) or a 60-minute lunch (3 courses). You can choose from two different starters and two different main courses.
The starter comes with freshly baked bread and pesto sauce.
I opted to go for the Tuna Nicoise with the beautifully seared Tuna.

For the Main Course, they had Catch of the Day, or the meat option - which I obviously chose.
Catch of the Day
Pot of Lamb which was surprisingly served with a side salad.
The meal was quite heavy, so I skipped the potatoes and I just had the lamb,
which was tasty and tender and the salad.
We ordered the three course lunch so we had the dessert sampler too.
You can ask them to change the espresso to the local tea.

For dinner, they brought us to Rangoon Tea House for a taste of the local food, which the locals will say is already westernized. Hahaha. The ambiance is nice and hip, and you get to try the local dishes in a non-intimidating way.
Yes, Myanmar is known for tea, and here the tea menu
is quite complicated. Just choose the level of tea, milk
and sugar you would like to try.
The easy way to do this is to buy the Royal Milk Tea
instant drink for the supermarket. Hahaha.

The local dishes we were small starter plates, the Burmese version of Tapas. I enjoyed all of them, except for the Soft Shell salad which I skipped.
Eggplant Salad with Sesame
Interestingly, one of their famous dishes is this Picked Tea leaves with nuts
and chickpeas salad. It's so famous, you can buy it from the supermarket and
put it together when you get home. (Note to self, maybe I'll buy this next time).
Tofu Salad
They also have this yummy pork dish cooked with Mango that you eat
with all the provided fixins.
One of the main courses we were served was the Grilled Pork rubbed in
Tea Leaves (center) and that was also really good.

The place has also some of the usual starters like calamari, but there is also an Indian influence in their cuisine. Their Samosas with Curry Sauce, and Biryani (sorry not in photo) is really yummy.

On our last night, we went to Onyx Winetree for Western Fusion, which ironically was owned by a Japanese.
Pork Knuckles, Dry Patatin Style, served with potato wedges
Tenderloin Steak with Pepper Sauce served with Spinach and Potato Wedges
Surprisingly, I loved their Carbonara with Cream and Bacon.
Yangon does cream and bacon so well. Hahaha.
The fresh from the oven brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream was to die for.
It was so good, we ordered the muffin version, but the brownie is better.
Thank you so much Rec, Angge and Jo for feeding us so well.

Despite the tight schedule schedule we had over the two days we were there, they only thing I can say is it doesn't feel like work when you're having fun (and eating well). just saying.

L'Opera Italian Restaurant and Bar
62 D, U Htun Nyein Street, 
Mayangone Tsp., 
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Le Planteur
80 University Avenue, 
Bahan Township, 
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Rangoon Tea House
2nd Floor, 77-79 
Pansodan Rd (Lower Middle Block) 
Myanmar (Burma)

Onyx Winetree
12B Bogyoke Pya Tike Street, 
Bahan Township, 
Yangon, Myanmar

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