Myanmar Food Mini Guide Mr Min Cooking Class Veg TempuraMaking Vegetable Tempura at Mr Min’s Cooking Class


Myanmar (formerly Burma) officially lifted a boycott of inbound foreign tourism in 2010, after nearly half a century. Since then, the tourism industry there, among other aspects, has been developing at a rapid pace. This also applies to the food and restaurant industry, which has seen a multitude of venues showcasing the best of Burmese cuisine open across the country. There are 135 different ethnic groups in Myanmar so the diversity of the cuisine is extraordinary, influenced by Thai, Chinese and Indian cooking. It was a fascinating place to visit. I’d recommend it, sooner rather than later. Here are some food highlights from our trip.

AR x


Myanmar Food Mini Guide Rangoon Tea House Tea Leaf saladTea leaf salad at Rangoon Tea House


Rangoon Tea House

Address: 77 Pansodan Rd, (Lower Block), First Floor, Kyauktada Township Yangon


Instagram: @rangoonteahouse

This is a relatively new restaurant on the Yangon dining scene. It was the first place we ate at on our first day there and a nice respite from the heavy monsoon rain that decided to descend upon us. Walking in, we could easily have been in any Melbourne restaurant. Housed in an art deco building, the interior fit out is excellent and combines warm timbers, soft furnishings and clever lighting adjacent to a long and fully stocked bar. The focus is on Burmese street food, much of which is delicious but untried by tourists not prepared to buy off the street. The menu is comprehensive and hard to choose from because everything sounds so delicious! We shared the infamous tea leaf salad, a pea paratha and some samosas. Enormous serves of each meant that we weren’t able to try more. There is also an extensive drinks list, including a special Burmese tea menu. It’s a little more expensive than other restaurants, however still cheap by our standards and it’s all absolutely divine.


Myanmar Food Mini Guide Tomato salad, tea leaf salad and eggplant curry, House of MemoriesTomato salad, tea leaf salad and eggplant curry at House of Memories


House of Memories

Address: No. 290, U Wizara Road, Kamaryut Township, Yangon


Housed in a colonial era building, which was the home of the Nath family who now run the restaurant. More interesting, however, is that this house is the first headquarters of the Burmese Independence Army and Myanmar’s national hero, General Aung Sung San’s first office was located here. This room is still set up with some of his original possessions. The rest of the house is filled with tables; upstairs, downstairs, on the balcony, outside. It’s the perfect place to spend an evening savouring some their traditional Myanmar food. Their beef in soy bean is particularly good, as is their eggplant curry. The requisite tea leaf salad makes an appearance as does a range of other traditional Burmese salads, which are loved by its citizens across the country.


Myanmar Food Mini Guide La Pizza, BaganA perfect combination at La Pizza in Bagan


La Pizza

Address: Yarkhinthar Street, Bagan

Facebook: La Pizza

Pizza is not necessarily a food I would associate with Myanmar, however they have adopted pizza and high quality, thin crust pizzerie are opening up all over the country, including in the ancient city of Bagan. After a day of visiting pagodas in the hottest part of the country, a cold beer and a pizza might be just the thing you need. I must say we were impressed with the crisp base and quality of the toppings.


HTI Bar and Restaurant

Address: Thiripyitsaya (5) Street, Nyaung U, Bagan

Facebook: Hti Bar Restaurant

A fully outdoor, partly covered bar and restaurant, we stopped in at HTI for a pre-dinner drink after a day of travel and sightseeing. A mix of lounge and table seating, combined with fairy lights, water features and ambient lighting make for a pleasant environment. The cocktail list is extensive and cheap at about $2.50 a cocktail and daily happy hour means two for one! They were expertly executed – we tried the rum sour made with Myanmar’s own Mandalay Rum and a gin and basil smash, which was so refreshing. Hilariously, they were playing a Savage Garden album the entire time we were there.


Myanmar Food Mini Guide Taste of Myanmar, Sanctum Inle Lake ResortA Taste of Myanmar at Sanctum Inle Resort Bar and Restaurant


Sanctum Inle Resort Bar and Restaurant

Address: Maing Thauk Village, Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe Township, Shan State


Facebook: Sanctum Inle Resort

Instagram: @sanctuminleresort

Twitter: @sanctuminle

Celebrating its opening in May 2015, Sanctum Inle Resort is Inle Lake’s newest five star resort. We were lucky enough to stay in this incredibly relaxing sanctuary, dining at their restaurant while we were there. The resort is built in a Spanish mission style and the entire place, both common areas and guest rooms and suites, are beautifully appointed with gorgeous timber windows and custom made timber furniture. The restaurant offers a great selection of traditional Burmese cuisine alongside some Western options, the food is superb quality and makes use of the produce grown in the organic garden on site. The highlight of our dining experience there was the “Taste of Myanmar”, a tasting plate of some of Myanmar’s most famous dishes. Guests can dine or enjoy a drink inside or on the terrace overlooking the lake. We would definitely return to Sanctum; it was heaven.


Myanmar Food Mini Guide En route to Mr Mins Cooking ClassEn route to Mr Min’s cooking class


Mr Min Cooking Class

Address: Yone Gyi Road, Nyaungshwe, Shan State

Facebook: Mr Min Cooking Class

Mr Min is a 30 year old Inle local entrepreneur who has started his own tourism business in Inle Lake. He represents a new generation of Burmese who see the opportunity that foreign tourism is bringing to Myanmar and is capitalising on this with enthusiasm. The business is a family affair with various members assisting in different areas. Part of his operation focuses on a cooking school, which is held in a small room close to his home in a small village on the lake, close to the floating gardens. Mr Min was occupied on the day of our booking, however he sent his associate, Kway (pronounced ‘Jò’) to look after us as we received our Introduction to Shan Cuisine. Shan State is the state where Inle Lake is located.

Kway picked us up at our accommodation, took us to the rotating market to buy our produce on foot and then on to the cooking school by boat (steered by Mr Min’s brother). On arrival at the hut, we were greeted with a cup of tea by Mr Min’s sister-in-law, which we enjoyed on the beautiful deck overlooking some floating tomato gardens. Then it was down to the business of cooking a great array of Shan dishes. Their cuisine focuses on the produce grown, produced and fished on or near the lake; tomato, yellow tofu and Inle carp, and the primary flavours used are garlic, ginger, turmeric and chicken powder.

We started off with some Vegetable Tempura, which was outstanding and will be a permanent feature on my menu in the future – a great starter or snack! Following this, we learnt how to make Shan tomato salad, Shan tofu curry, eggplant salad, fried cauliflower and zucchini and special Inle fish curry served with potato rice. Once it was all prepared, we sat down to this amazing feast for lunch! There was so much food and it was all delicious. I can’t wait to try some myself at home.

Following the class, we were taken on a tour of the village in a traditional Inle fishing boat. It was a great way of seeing the way the locals live and work there. The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It really was blissful.

We bid our thanks and farewell, received our recipe book to take home and were delivered back to our accommodation by boat. It was such a great way to spend a morning. We were pleased we did it.

I do note that the Burmese use oil liberally in all their cooking; almost everything is fried. When I asked Kway about the amount used in our class (which I thought was a lot!), he said that they tone it down for tourists and that he would use more than that in his home!! I think I’ll adjust to my own taste at home.

For those who’d like to give them a shot, here is the recipe for Vegetable Tempura. I highly recommend them.


Myanmar Food Mini Guide Shan Vegetable TempuraFrying the veggies


Shan Vegetable Tempura


100g rice flour

15 spring onions, chopped

1 ripe tomato, chopped

5 cloves garlic, crushed

10g ginger, minced

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Salt to taste

1 cup water

Vegetable oil for frying


Combine rice flour, onions, tomato, garlic, ginger, turmeric powder and season with salt to taste. Add enough water until the mixture becomes sticky and make small patties in your hand.


Heat some vegetable oil in a wok on medium heat. When hot, place tablespoons of mixture into the oil and shallow fry on both sides until cooked.


Serve with a tamarind dipping sauce made by combining some soaked tamarind, chopped coriander, spring onion, garlic, chili and salt.


Myanmar Food Mini Guide Parami Pizza YangonParami Pizza in Yangon


Parami Pizza

Address: A/001, Ground Floor, Shwe Gone Plaza, Shwe Gone Dain Road, Ngar Htat Kyi West, Bahan Township, Yangon


Facebook: Parami Pizza

There is a large expat community living in Yangon and more and more restaurants catering to their tastes and aesthetic are opening up around the city. Parami Pizza is owned by 57below, the group behind other similarly trendy restaurants Union Bar & Grill (pub fare) and Gekkō (Japanese). Parami focuses on Italian stuzzichini and pizza. It is not at all cheap by Myanmar standards and well and truly out of the reach of most Burmese, however the Italian-born chef produces cicchetti, large plates and pizza of the highest quality. Our stand out dish was the eggplant parmigiana; to be honest, probably one of the best I’ve ever tried. Our Delicata pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella, grilled zucchini, tomato and ricotta was also delicious atop a good thin and crusty base was also delicious. It’s worth a visit if you are feeling like something other than rice or noodles and you feel like treating yourself.


Myanmar Food Mini Guide MohingaMohinga



There are some dishes that visitors to Myanmar absolutely must try while in the country.

Mohinga is a fish and noodle soup considered by many to be the national dish. It is generally eaten for breakfast, although it can be bought throughout the day. We tried it about mid-morning when we felt we could stomach it and found it quite yummy. Ours was garnished with coriander and fried onions and served alongside a crunchy corn fritter.


Myanmar Food Mini Guide Noodles at the market in Pyin Oo LwinNoodles at the market in Pyin Oo Lwin


Shan noodles are essentially Myanmar’s version of pasta. Meat (chicken or pork) is boiled with ginger, salt and chicken powder then added to onion and garlic and fish sauce to make a meat sauce, which is then served on top of rice vermicelli noodles. Various garnishes such as peanuts, chilli and fried onions can be added to taste. We’re disappointed we only got to try this once as it was so more-ish.

Both mohinga and Shan noodles are generally served at small, tucked away family run restaurants and it’s best to speak to your accommodation as to the best place to go.



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