When it comes to Burmese cuisine or foods from Myanmar, Burma Burma Restaurant and Tea Room excels. It is unique not just in its cuisine; Burmese, but it’s also completely vegetarian and non-alcoholic. Burma Burma has three outlets in Delhi and all serve sumptuous Burmese food which is not commonly available in other so called Pan Asian restaurants. The menu is quite extensive which offers range of soups, salads, starters, curries, stir-fries, noodle dishes, sticky rice dishes, and a separate menu for desserts.
BURMA BURMA is managed by two friends, Chirag Chhajer and Ankit Gupta. The concept of Burma Burma hails from Gupta’s Burmese roots which was set the base for the early introduction of the flavours of Burmese cuisine.
The décor at the sector 15, Noida outlet is a replica of the spirit of Burma in its earthy, wooden interiors and the cafe type warm interiors with a little bar counter. We were transported in a different world as we entered the place. The ambiance was just Burmese and the aroma of exotic Burmese food made us hungry. We loved the paper parasols on the ceiling and prayer rolls in one corner. The cute tea baskets and wooden toys set up near the bar area were eye pleasing too.
The menu was quite extensive and I was surprised not seeing desserts section in the main menu. The menu lists dishes under various classifications and our host was prompt enough to mention that Burmese cuisine essentially is a kaleidoscope of coastal, forest, tropical, and mountainous cultures. He also added that, Burmese cuisine extensively uses fish sauce and fermented seafood, but Burma Burma being vegetarian use peanut, coconut and black gram flour in most of its preparations.
You start with drinks. The tee-totalling bar serves mocktails only, but these are so delectable that you don’t miss spirits. They have a few authentic nonalcoholic mixes and also the famous bubble teas. The drinks worth trying is Burmese Blossom; a mix of watermelon juice with added cherry, rose and cranberry juice and it comes with a steel straw. Though our host wanted us to try out the bubble teas but we decided to leave them for the end.
Well, Food is Happiness and Happiness is Food. So to stay happy, we started our food journey with the aromatic Samuza Hincho. This is a thin peppery broth of black gram with baby samosas dunked with carrot cabbage and capsicum. The Samuza Hincho is a very popular street food in Burma. The soup was really delicious. The preparation was different from the usual oriental dishes that we usually have, using really unique ingredients like the Burmese spice mix Yessa.
Though I am not a regular salad eater at restaurants, but when recommended we tried a platter of three salads – Thoke Sampler; Thoke means salad in Burmese. The three salads were Mandalay Laphet Thoke, Tayat ti Thoke, and Naykar Gyun Akyaw. I loved the Tayat ti Thoke, which is a raw mango salad with roasted red chilly, brown onion and crushed peanuts. Each salad was different from the other. I loved the texture and crunch given by wheat flakes in sunflower leaves salad, though I didn’t like the sour taste left behind in my mouth after eating the Mandalay Laphet Thoke; the tea leaf salad of fermented tea leaves.
Our host realised this and quickly served Paukse, the Steamed Tofu Bun. The dish looked very much like a bao, but the tasty filling of burnt onion and roasted red chilies was excellent. We then tried the Tohu Mok Palata, a tofu dish cooked with onion, tomato and spices. It looked like a dry daal preparation and was served with flaky Burmese parantha which were similar to our own malabari paranthas or the laccha paranthas.
I was told about a new addition to the menu, the Mock meat skewers and we tried them. I didn’t like them but guess they will be a hit with the die-hard non-vegetarians.
We were happily relishing all these exotic preparations without even trying out several other sauces on the table because the dishes served had much flavours of their own.
It was the turn of the authentic dish in every Burmese meal, the Khow Suey. The menu had six options, but I chose the authentic Oh No (Burmese for coconut) Khao Suey coconut curry with noodles along with a selection of garnishes: chopped spring onions, fried onions, fried garlic, roasted peanuts, and a dry roasted red chilli powder.
I was still wondering what to do after Khao Suey as I did not see the listing for desserts in the main menu. Hold on, said my host, and handed me an extensive desserts menu which had several mouth watering on the dessert menu. After a long look, we settled for Forbidden cherry and Burma Bomb. The presentations were so artistic that we felt bad eating them, but then they were meant for eating.
We loved our Burmese cuisine journey and found out that the trip was really worthy and would love to be back on it again soon.