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Hello! Why Cliff(y), you ask? Well, a lot of people I've met since primary school till now have always called me Cliffy! Unless specifically mentioned, I personally paid for whatever chargeable stuff featured in my blogs. Anyway, for every 50 posts I come up with, and every 25,000 pageviews, I'm donating a sum of money to the World Food Programme. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

MMR: Feel Myanmar Food

You don't just drink tea in Myanmar; you eat it too!

March holiday is coming to an end, and that means I shall get back to work tomorrow. It's been pretty much a restful break for me, having the chance to go for a 3D2N trip to another new destination for the year: Yangon, Myanmar. Yeah, today marks the inception of two new labels: {Myanmar - MMR} and Burmese! Our first dinner was at Feel Myanmar Food, a budget eatery that is highly recommended by many for an introduction to authentic Burmese cuisine.

Every order of steamed rice at Ks. 500 (~S$0.65) per person gives you free soup, vegetables and dessert. Pika's advice: Menu booklets are available, with English names written bigger than their Burmese counterparts. However, if you're feeling adventurous, follow the locals and choose directly from the huge array of the dishes, akin to ordering at our cai fan, or economical rice, stalls here in Singapore. 

Soup of the Day
Taste: 7/10

Scooping up the ingredients hidden under the murky soup revealed long beans, egg plants and potatoes. The appearance somehow reminded me of sayur asam (Indonesian tamarind soup), but it tasted totally different from the latter. In fact, it tasted like Indian vegetable curry made thin, being just a tad spicy on the tongue.

Assorted Vegetables
Taste: 6.5/10

Resembling lalapan (Indonesian raw vegetables served with belachan, a pungent shrimp paste), the assorted vegetables came with a saucer of greenish paste, which was made of fermented fish that tasted similar to belachan, but not as strong. Some of the greens could be fresher, but I really enjoyed the crunchy bamboo shoots.

Steamed Pork Curry Ks. 3,500 (~S$4.65)
Taste: 7.5/10

I suppose anything that's served with a kind of sauce is called 'curry' in Myanmar. The oily and sweet pork curry tasted somewhat similar to babi pongteh (Peranakan pork dish with soy sauce). The meat was quite tender, and thankfully not overly fatty. The gravy went well with steamed rice.

Shrimp with Chili, Garlic and Onion Ks. 3,800 (~S$5.05)
Taste: 7.5/10

Shrimp dishes seemed to be very popular, judging from the fact that the above was the only thing left for us to take. Again, it tasted more or less Indonesian, as in udang goreng petai (Indonesian stir-fried shrimps with stinky beans), but milder and not as dry. The shrimps were quite springy, but they could be juicier.

P.S. I've never eaten stinky beans though, and I doubt I'll ever pop one into my mouth. I wonder what's so good about them.

Pickled Tea Leaves Salad Ks. 900 (~S$1.20)
Taste: 8/10

That was indeed my very first time eating tea leaves, known to be a delicacy of the country. Featuring fried garlic bits, toasted sesame seeds, peanuts and crushed dried shrimps, the salad imparted a highly crunchy sensation in the mouth. Despite the name, the tea leaves tasted neither sour nor pungent, but their fragrance had been pretty much gone during the fermentation process.

Fried Spinach Ks. 1,000 (~S$1.35)
Taste: 7.5/10

Apart from the fact that it could be fresher, the spinach was actually well-executed. The wok hei, or the smoky taste, was obviously there. As the restaurant prides itself in the no-MSG policy it has adopted, I could tell that the dish was skillfully done. Again, it was a pity that its freshness level wasn't top-notch.

Dessert of the Day
Taste: 8/10

Upon seeing that we were done with our feast, the server immediately brought us two small bowls of sweet dessert. Swimming in a pool of brown sugar were sago pearls and a small piece of something that I'd guess to be sweet potato. Topped with shredded coconuts, it had the right degree of sweetness.

Baked Sticky Rice with Coconut Cream Ks. 800 (~S$1.05)
Taste: 7.5/10

Those who've tried wajik (Indonesian steamed glutinous rice cooked in palm sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaves) would be able to quickly identify with this traditional cake. The Burmese version that I tried didn't seem to include palm sugar though. It was enjoyably chewy, but not as rich as its Indonesian cousin.

Melon's Rating
Taste: 7.5/10
Ambience: 6/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall: 7/10

It was exciting to note that the taste of the food was actually a mix of Indian, Indonesian and Peranakan. My only gripe was that the dishes were served at room temperature. The server we encountered the other day could speak basic English, and he was pretty efficient. Prior to the dinner, we actually went to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. It's interesting to know that no official documents about its constructions has ever been found, and that its age is still debatable to date.

Feel Myanmar Food

124 Pyihtaungsu Avenue Street
(Daily: 6.00am - 8.30pm)

*Prices quoted are subject to 5% commercial tax.

Have a nice meal,

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