Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Burmese Food With Burma Burma

In a place like Mumbai, there are new restaurants coming up every now and then. Due to this there is so much of competition out there and also its very difficult to find a good restaurant to eat.
There are so many options to eat, but for vegetarian folks, there are hardly any places. It is very difficult to find a restaurant in Mumbai that will serve amazing and pure vegetarian food cooked straight from the heart.

Then comes up a restaurant, 'Burma Burma', one of its kind restaurant serving hearty Burmese food, and it being I guess the only restaurant serving that in the town. The place is not even a month old and they have made a place in everyone's mind and heart for one of the best serving foods in town.

Another mail from the FBAI in my inbox with an invitation to the next FBAI meet-up of what I call Bhukads - foodies which was going to take place at 'Burma Burma', a place open at Kala Ghoda - Colaba, Mumbai.
The place located inside a lane and a little difficult to locate. But once the place is located and entered, it seems like it is a different world totally.

The place being small in area as compared to many restaurants in Mumbai, was nice, cute, sweet and gave that homely feeling which I guess everyone needs when dining out. I often want a place to dine in which is a home away from home.

I visit the place with another blogger friend of mine @drishtipursnani, the moment I entered the place, it took me to a different world itself, look at the interiors, the ambiance and the color shade gave me a feel of being in Burma.


The place had the feel of Burma, there were traditional burmese umbrellas on the ceiling quite colorful and of different shades.
Then there were something similar to rollers, on the wall which had some designs from Burma, which gave the wall another dimension in itself.

It was also told by the owners that it took them about a month to carve the wall itself to get that authenticity of the burmese region and give it that look.

While we all were seated, everyone started to interact with each another, getting to know them. The menu came and honestly speaking I was totally confused on what to have, then i hear that there is already a 6-course meal planned for us, a 6-course meal, isnt it too much was the question i asked my self, but it also gave me a relief that I dont have to choose what to have.

Apart from the menu another thing that got my attention was a beautiful centre piece kept on the table. It was like a small tea pot with I guess some tea inside. I guess everyone on the table loved the centre piece and wanted to take one with them.              

Mon Hao Hincho
The planned menu consisted of soups to began with, and there came the first soup, known as 'Mon Hao Hincho' which was a white radish soup.

The soup was of a watery texture, just perfect temperature, not very hot, not very cold, just perfect.
It had quite alot of vegetables and an amazing spiciness at the end of every sip I took.

Every one was enjoying their soup, came the owners and childhood friends Mr. Chirag Chhajer & Mr. Ankit Gupta who came together and started with the restaurant.
Ankit Gupta told us the inspiration behind the restaurant and how did it all start, what made him take such a different cuisine and give it a try, what was the reason behind the vegetarian aspect.

He mentioned, that it took him 4 years to just do the research about the cuisine, and the chef and himself had to travel couple of times to Burma in order to get the authenticity back here in India.

The reason of this restaurant being pure vegetarian is, that Burmese food consist of raw meat in huge numbers, which is not palatable to the Indian tongue.
It was seen that Ankit was with a hotel background and was working with a reputed hotel in Mumbai.
He took his working experience and his mothers recipes on burmese food, his mother being from Burma and started this place.

I wasnt finished with the first soup, there came the second soup or Hincho.

Black Sesame and Chickpea Soup

The soup was called Black Sesame and Chickpea Soup.
The soup had a very distinct flavor of the chickpea and was a soup that could be enjoyed on a rainy day without any thinking.
The Hincho, consisted of an ingredient which was quite unusual, Burmese Bean Curd also know has 'Tohu' and not 'Tofu'
The texture of the Tohu was like an extra surprise in the soup.
It was my bad that I dint get may pieces, but enjoyed the soup.
If I would have got another bowl of the soup, i have for sure had it.

Everyone likes to have a drink with their meal. The place is a Non-Alcoholic place, but has a good variety of Burmese inspired drinks to enjoy.

Kafir Lime Cooler
On that note, I ordered my self a Kafir Lime Cooler, sounds to be a bit different, but in real it was actually different and quite refreshing.

The drink had an amazing flavor from the Kafir Lime, and the a good drink to beat the heat if I have to say.
It was a drink, that i would have again, coz it was something different from the good old nimbu pani types.

Burmese Blossom

While I was enjoying my Kafir Lime Cooler, there was another friend of mine, @Renita_m who ordered another drink which looked quite interesting.
It was named Burmese Blossom. The drink seemed to the most popular on the table and many people ordered that drink.
The drink contained one of the best cooling fruit 'Watermelon'. The drink also had a flavor of rose in it which was honestly the first time I have had in a drink like this.

As soon as I was done with the soup, there came the 2nd course, another healthy option, the Salads, what i sometimes call 'gass-puss'

The salad came and all wanted a picture of it for sure, it looks great.
In Burma, Salad what i call 'gass-puss' is known as 'Thoke'

Mandalay Laphet Thoke

It was 'Mandalay Laphet Thoke', in simple terms it would be Tea Leaf Salad.
The salad had a nice crunchiness after being tossed in the dressing, which came mostly from the peanuts and the vegetables used. 
To be honest, the salad had a bit of an after taste of the bitterness because of the tea, but it was negligible. 

Tayat Thi Thoke

The 2nd salad which came to us was the 'Tayat Thi Thoke', in English if i say, it was a raw mango salad.
Somehow I dint enjoy this salad, as I wasnt getting the flavor of the raw mangoes as in my mind I had the taste of raw mango which I dint get from the salad.
This is one dish i dint like.

Samusa Thoke

When in India, I don't think that a menu can be complete without an Indian inspired dish on it.
The chef and the owner came up with this a inspirational mix between Indian and Burmese food.
They took the Indian street food 'Samosa' and the flavors of Burma and known as 'Samusa Thoke'.
The salad reminded me of the samosa chaat served on the streets.

Naan Pe Bya
There was one more extra ordinary dish which to me seemed to look like the Indian Punjabi dish 'Chhola and Kulcha'
This was know as 'Naan Pe Bya', the names of the food for once went all over my head and i dint understand the name until reading the myself.
So the dish, it was a very different kind of flavor, dint understand of what, but truly amazing. The bread was though  bit hard, but better than 'Chhola & Kulcha'.

Pauske Buns
One of the most famous dishes of Burmese food, 'Pauske Buns'.
They werent just any ordinary buns, but filled with a surprise, soft and flavorful.
We got 2 different fillings, Brown Onions and Roasted Chilli.
And Sauteed Mushrooms.
When they arrived, a friend on the table commented, " this is how the dabeli should be like."
The onions and the chilli were just perfect, but the mushrooms had too much of garlic in it and it was over powering all the other flavors in it.
Apart from that, the buns were just amazing.

Nanji Kaukswe
How can a meal of Burmese food be complete without a 'Khow Suey', the place had added a twist to the 'Khow Suey' and made is 'Nanji Kaukswe'.
This dish was a resemblance of the authentic 'Khow Suey', but it was a dry version of it.
Clean flavors, just cooked right, and a squeeze of lemon juice made is perfect.
It had an amazing taste of coconut, sweetness from the caramelized onions, crunch from the peanuts, which took it to another level only.

If there was a dried version of 'Khow Suey', for sure we had to have to authentic version as well.
The restaurants special, the 'Burma Burma Oh No Khow Suey'. The concept of making your own was a fantastic, everyone likes their food in a special way, some like it spicy, some like it mild.


So make your own Khow Suey was a good idea. We got a big bowl of their coconut milk cooked with veges and the noodles along with a platter of condiments like fried garlic, cilantro, lemon slices, peanuts and the chilli oil, not to forget.
The flavors of the dish were so clean and simple. There was like a Tsunami of flavors in the mouth.
None of the flavors were overpowering each another.

Lastly there was a final dish, a meal isn't complete without having rice. It consisted of Coconut flavored sticky rice served with a peanut chutney. This dish was known as the 'Kowni Mow',
the name being a bit wired, the dish wasn't. One thing that i loved about the dish was the flavor of the coconut but dint enjoy the peanut chutney much.

Never thought that ingredients as simple as some Sago, coconut and jaggery would make an amazing dessert. Until recently, my opinion changed about it and it was 'Tagu Pyian'.
This bake dessert was one of the best dishes I had there, the flavor of the coconut and the jaggery was so clear, i wouldn't mind eating another one. More than the Sago, i enjoyed the flavor of the baked coconut. This is a highly recommended dessert. 

Shway Aye
When the next dessert came, i was shocked, it looked like a falooda and was a Bursmese Falooda with another complicated name 'Shway Aye'.

The 'Shway Aye' reminded me of the old day when my dad use to take us for a falooda on the srteets once or twice a week after dinner.
The difference in that falooda and the one here was the flavor and the additional element, the vanilla cake added.
The falooda also contained lots of sago, jelly, fruits and had an amazing flavor.
One bad point was that it was not quite cold enough as what a flaooda should be.

Another thing i had noticed that, there is a lot of use of coconut, peanuts and garlic in the preparations of the food. At some points, the flavors were just perfect, but in one or two dishes, they were overpowering which is a negative point,
When in a burmese restaurant having a lovely tea room, how can one leave without having their special tea. Personally not a big fan of tea, but still a friend of mine @QuirkyLogic poured some for me. But I dint enjoy it much as I dont drink tea. So on that note Ill skip this part. 
The bar cum more Tea Room.

After the meal, the owner Mr Ankit Gupta went to the place, where he belongs, behind the bar/tea room. This is a place well known to him for quite a few years as he use to work behind the bar as a bar tender.

After going back, there was something interesting taking place, he was telling us how to make tea, the secrets behind a perfect tea.
From where does the tea come and what are the qualities of them were some of the few interesting facts.
Once he started explaining, everyone got into listening to him.
He even showed us the different equipments the restaurant had, how to use them and much more.
One can visit the place and always ask him to give you a brief idea about it and he will be always ready to help.

The restaurant had amazing varieties of tea, and serving glasses, cups and more.
It was like an amazing collection to have.
One of the pots used to serve tea

The special cups used to have tea which have a vacuum space to prevent
the heat coming and not letting the customer drink.

They had a huge variety of pots, glasses and each type of tea is served in a different kind of pot and has a different kind of serving glass.

One thing while having the tea is, each of them has a different brewing time.
with every tea, there is a hourglass given which has 3 timings at which the teas can be had. starting with 3 minutes, going on to 4 minutes and lastly 5 minutes,
At every point of time, there is a difference in the taste and the flavor.
One amazing tea, 'King of Silver Needles' coming under the category of White teas is one of the most expensive in the world is available here, and is so light by taste and texture.

The event is never complete if there is no group picture, and the best place to take the picture was to stand behind the bar and say 'Cheese'

The restaurant is a must try for all the foodies, and even if its vegetarian, it is really wonderful. The food was just perfect, the service was amazing.

At every event I always end up making some new friends like @QuirkyLogic , @salloni , @Renita_m , @Stuli1989 , @Parivartyt , @vino_squat , @ChandniT and last but not the least, Sameer Malkani, founder of @FBAI (Food Bloggers Association India) and it always a pleasure to know them.


  1. Those dishes looks so unusual and tasty! I hope that you'll add more materials here. It will be helpful for me.

  2. A great and unique idea is always required to do the miracle. After the ideas, you need to have a lot of patience and perseverance to achieve that. I don't know how the Burmese food is, but I will go there definitely to try. I had toured Mumbai several times. It was a nice place with a number of attractive tourists places. In between the busy traffic and the packed local trains, these types of places bring solace to our mind and soul.


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