New foodie place alert in Namma Bengaluru!
After highly successful runs in Mumbai and Gurgaon, Burma Burma Restaurant & Tea Room opened up in Bangalore on April 1, 2018. Yours truly had the opportunity to dine at Burma Burma’s spanking new outlet in Indiranagar, along with a few other foodie afficionados from the city, courtesy of Little Black Book (LBB)-Bangalore.
I have always been up for trying out cuisines from across the globe, and this opportunity to try out Burmese food – something very, very new to me – thrilled me to the core. The experience we had at Burma Burma entirely matched our expectations, and turned out to be utterly awesome!
Khow Suey is probably the best known of Burmese cuisine. However, it is not the be-all and end-all of the food from this exotic land. That is just what Burma Burma has set out to prove. Steamed buns, Burmese parathas, fermented green tea leaves, a variety of teas and never-heard-before desserts – authentic recipes from Burma – are what this place promises to offer, apart from the famed Khow Suey of course. And… it’s all vegetarian (a fact that surprised me), with several Jain offerings on the menu! There’s no alcohol available here.
Location, Decor And Ambience
Burma Burma Restaurant & Tea Room is another beautiful additions to the number of amazing restaurants that Indiranagar already boasts of. The place has a fantastic ambience, decked up with little knick-knacks that will have your mind travelling straight to Burma.
There is a ‘tea bar’ near the entrance, complete with high stools, where you can request for freshly-made cups of the huge selection of varieties available.
Food & Drinks
We started the evening with an interesting amuse bouche – a miniature, fried version of Khow Suey. What a delightful palate cleanser this was! This little bite prepared us for the myriad flavours that were about to be introduced to us, over the course of the evening.
Then came Samuza Hincho (Burmese for ‘Samosa Soup’) – yes, you read that right! A big, fat samosa cut up into pieces, served in a bowl of tangy soup, with spiced black chickpeas ans spring vegetables, this dish was sheer delight. Weird when you think of it, maybe, but this is quite a popular street food in Burma, and I surely happened to love it. Don’t miss this whenever you visit Burma Burma – highly recommended!
Next up came the salads. The first one was Tayat Ti Thoke or Raw Mango Salad, made Burmese style. This is made differently from the Thai Raw Mango Salad, with roasted red chilly, cabbage, lettuce and brown onion mixed into shreds of raw mango. I loved this to bits, too!
The next salad that was brought to our table was Mandalay Laphet Thoke or a Tea Leaf Salad straight from Mandalay. This is a traditional Burmese delicacy, made with fermented tea leaves, fried garlic nuts, sesame seeds, tomato and lettuce, apparently. I was highly intrigued to try out this salad – I have never, ever had one made with tea leaves! – but, sadly, it wasn’t meant for my taste buds.
Post the salads, we were served Tohu Mok Palata, a curry made with tohu (the Burmese version of soy-free tofu) and Burmese-style layered parathas. The parathas were lovely, soft and flaky and almost melt-in-the-mouth, and the tohu curry was extremely flavourful as well. Yum, yum, yum all the way!
Then, we were served Crunchy Tofu Steamed Buns, another Burmese delicacy. The buns – which tasted like the Chinese baos, but with a hint of coconut to them – were pillowy soft. The spicy, crispy tofu filling within went beautifully with the buns, and made for an absolutely delectable whole.
Then came the Kyar Yoe Kyaw, Burmese-style lotus stem crisps. These were a far cry from the soya sauce-drenched fried lotus root that you get in most Asian restaurants. These were super-thin slices of lotus stem, deep-fried perfectly, and served with a drizzle of salt and spice, not unlike our good ol’ potato chips. The Kyar Yoe Khaw was oh-so-delish, and I adored them. This would make for the perfect tea-time snack for rainy evenings, me thinks!
All too soon, it was time to move on to the main course, and a palate cleanser was presented to us. We were introduced to the Sea Buckthorn, a shrub that grows in parts of Europe, Mongolia and China, the berries of which are pleasantly sour and extremely delicious. Our palate cleanser was, apparently, prepared from these very Sea Buckthorn berries, and was just as delicious as we had been promised! Utterly refreshing, juicy, sweet and sour, I loved this little shot.
Next came Burma Burma’s signature dish, “Oh No Khow Suey“, something that all of us foodie enthusiasts had been waiting for with bated breath. I love a hearty bowl of Khow Suey, and this one at Burma Burma was nothing if not hearty. It was perfectly done, with noodles soaked in a flavourful coconut milk broth, laced with diced Asian veggies, tamarind and lemongrass. This was served to us with an array of D-I-Y toppings, to add to our Khow Suey as we pleased.
Brown Onion & Roasted Chilly Grilled Sticky Rice came next, little string-tied parcels of sticky rice cooked with a filling of browned onions and roasted chillies, all wrapped up in the banana leaf they were cooked in. This turned out to be something that I liked, but wasn’t exactly charmed by, something I might not order here normally.
To go with the sticky rice parcels, we were served Stir-Fried Seasonal Greens With Tofu, a pungent-smelling dish of assorted veggies and tofu. The smell was extremely overpowering, and I couldn’t really eat this beyond the cursory taste of a spoonful. I understand that this is how the authentic taste and feel of the dish is, in Burma, though.
The chef of Burma Burma – Bangalore was sweet enough to bring out from the kitchen some of the fermented mustard and fermented soya bean cakes that went into the making of these stir-fried greens, for us to view. It is the fermented mustard that had brought that overpowering, pungent smell to the dish, he said.
We were also offered samples of a few of the beverages on Burma Burma – Bangalore’s menu. We tried out their Lemongrass Cooler, Chocolate Bubble Tea and Pomegranate-Watermelon Cooler.
While the Lemongrass Cooler had a beautiful refreshing fragrance, the bitter aftertaste the drink had made it less than enjoyable. The Chocolate Bubble Tea was good, but not really my kind of beverage. I thoroughly enjoyed the Pomegranate-Watermelon Cooler, though, with its perfect balance of sweet and sour.
The desserts came next, and turned out to be the real stars of the show. The gastronomical extravaganza this far had stunned our tastebuds, and the two gorgeous desserts we were presented with literally brought us to the edge of our seats.
The Smokey Avocado Honey Caviar Ice Cream was so very brilliant, I can only tell you to go and experience it for yourself. The stunning smokey effect of this dessert stole the show, and then the taste did the same, all over again. One can barely make out that this mildly sweet, perfectly done, utterly delish dessert was made using avocado and honey! The dessert came topped with mock caviar (fish eggs), made with honey, and added an interesting texture to it. So simple, yet so elegant – this dessert is highly recommended!
The dessert that came next – Tagu Piyan – was equally brilliant. This is a Burmese country-side recipe of sago cooked with palm jaggery and served with coconut custard, with Burma Burma’s extravagant flourish. It tasted just ‘Wow!’ when had with the freshly grated coconut and powdered palm jaggery served on the side. This is another dish I’d recommend you try out here!
To end our meal, we were poured pretty little glasses of Burma Burma’s Lavender Tea out of a pretty little teapot. I am not normally a fan of these fancy varieties of tea – I love my masala chai too much! – but this lavender tea was a revelation. It was so delicate, so refreshing, so soothing to the nerves! I loved it to bits, and made a mental note to try out more such in the times to come.
The service staff is polite, warm and friendly. We were served a pre-set menu, but it was evident that the staff is well-informed and knowledgeable about the dishes on offer.
A meal for two at Burma Burma will set you back by INR 1500 (approximately).
I loved the attention to detail at Burma Burma, the way efforts have been made to present authentic Burmese fare to the citizens of Bangalore, without adulterating them to suit local tastebuds.
I loved the presentation of every single dish that was brought to us.
I loved how the focus is as much on the taste of the dish, as it is on the presentation. All sho-sha and no substance, that is definitely not the case here.
Eating at Burma Burma is an experience in itself, an experience that I highly recommend you have for yourself. I can’t wait to go back here to try out the other dishes from their vast menu!
Thank you, Burma Burma, for this awesome gastronomic tour to a land far away! LBB, thank you for this fantastic experience!