Burmese? No Please. The Dining Disappointments Continue.

Sometime I wonder what people are eating/ thinking/ smoking? Everyone has their opinions and are certainly entitled to them but I don’t have to agree with them. As it happens every time a restaurant opens, every blogger, journalist, food writer and the likes will review it within the first 10 days of its inception. I belong to the rare lot that isn’t desperately hungry to review everything the minute it opens and actually feel you should never review a restaurant till at least a month or two ideally three of it’s opening. Having said that I understand everyone’s thirst for being the first to review it but sometimes I have to really wonder what on earth they were thinking.

I accept that food is subjective, everyone’s taste and preferences differ so I’m not going to agree with some reviews and that is ok. However I’ve never come across a place so grossly over hyped that I have started questioning everyone’s mind set. Have we just really give in to mediocrity and now truly believe the bullshit most restaurants feed us or have we genuinely lost our ability to tell good food from crap ? I don’t know but what I do know is after reading and hearing such lavish praise on the recently opened dare I say authentic Burmese restaurant named – Burma Burma I have lost a wee bit of faith in the food scene in Mumbai and my fellow food loving community.

I hadn’t planned to visit this restaurant at all. In fact I’m never eager to visit a pure veg restaurant unless its Thali so I wasn’t going out of my way to get a reservation. A friend wanted to eat there and was dying of curiosity because this has become the latest fashionable place to dine at ( I honestly can’t understand why) and it would seem that sometimes calling on a Wednesday is too late for a weekend reservation and they are fully booked.  Kudos to them for doing well I’m just still trying to wrap my head around it.

Firstly they gave her hell to try and get a reservation and then to make matters worse acted extremely pricey while trying to increase our table. I understand how over whelming it can get for a restaurant and specially with annoying clients ( yes we can be incredibly annoying and demanding ) but you’re in the serve industry my friend – suck it up and be polite. The behaviour of the staff is a put off.
The place its self is adorable. It’s a cozy restaurant, with colourful knick knacks against one big wall where the bar is. There are Burmese inscriptions on different coloured cylinders ( I’m assuming they are prayers ) against another wall.
The samosa soup is interesting and tastes exactly as it sounds. A samosa in a soup. Slightly peppery and not something I’d normally order but not bad either.

The grapefruit salad sounds exotic but it really isn’t. I found it sour and very oily for a salad. It’s basically nothing but shredded grapefruit with fried onions, chopped spring onions and possibly some fried garlic. Just like the khao suey condiments only the oil from the fried garnishing seeped into the salad and it just wasn’t tasty. I like grapefruit and I eat it but I didn’t enjoy this.

The corn fritters are very similar to our pakodas and tasty because I like pakodas and fried unhealthy food but it was too oily and they use American corn which I think is completely boring and flavourless. It’s served with tamarind chutney and some other spicy dips and I liked it except for the excessive oil. It isn’t however anything new or exciting and very much something I’d get at home.

The mushroom buns and spicy onion buns are tasty. These are not the traditional Chinese buns you get which have more bread than filling, I’m not a fan of those so I was hesitant to order the buns but these are like mini pacman like buns with super soft bread and filling, much smaller than the Chinese ones. This is probably the tastiest thing on the menu. Though once again nothing spectacular and not particularly oriental in flavour but it tastes good.

At this point I think the food is decent, slightly Indian – ised but can’t understand all the hoo haa. The main khao suey is a disappointment. I love khao suey and I didn’t much care for this one. I have no problem with a vegetarian Khao suey but French Beans in it is a put off. I don’t know why restaurants pre mix their Khao Suey it’s so annoying, Burma Burma isn’t the only one that does that, I really wish they wouldn’t. It’s like noodles floating in a sea of curry. I have eaten much better Khao Sueys than this one all vegetarian so no this is no great shakes. 

There was another rice ( forgotten the names ) it’s sticky rice with tomato and peanut paste. I just had a few bites and was more than enough to say no thank you. It might appeal to someone who loves peanuts but I just didn’t think anything of the dish.
The Burmese fried rice which comes with a clear vegetable broth looked like a mixed pulao of sorts. It looked as unappetizing as it tasted. The broth was much better but no point without the rice.

Dessert was a coconut flavoured stodgy pudding or sorts almost like a thick flan which sandwiched what I think was sabudana. It could have been a interesting dessert but the pudding was too thick and just didn’t work.

I haven’t eaten Burmese food or been to Myanmar to judge but this is one experience I did not enjoy. Firstly Burmese food has a healthy dose of fish and meat in almost everything so right there I find it hard to understand a pure vegetarian Burmese restaurant. Never the less , If you are going to alienate the most important ingredients that make that cuisine special, then at least have brilliant vegetarian items. I thought this meal was average at best. Which is exactly why I can’t understand the incredibly hype around this place. What makes it so special that people are clamouring to eat here and that reviewers gave it a 5 star rating. We were a table of 4 and ended up paying a hefty bill for lacklustre food.You can choose to agree or disagree with me, but I stand by my review. I wouldn’t go back there unless I was in the area and needed a cup of chai and a quick snack ( the buns or fritters ) to ease hunger pangs.