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VA Eats: Myanmar’s Burmese Cuisine

by Jennie Tai on October 15, 2010

If you’ve never had Burmese Cuisine before, or are simply craving a different type of classy asian food that doesn’t involve the typical grease balls you’ll find at a local takeout joint – Myanmar Restaurant in Falls Church, VA is a great place to start. With an unexpected use of exotic fruits, a wide variety of beans such as chick peas, and even the use of goat based mutton – Myanmar isn’t your typical asian restaurant, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you decide to take a step out of the ordinary and into a the world of Burmese Cuisine.

[ Iced Burmese Coffee | Burmese Tea | Thailand's Tiger Beer ]

When I was little, my grandmother used to give me a big wooden bowl with two scoops of Haagen Dazs coffee ice cream after dinner. I’d let it sit in my lap and let it melt, so that I could slurp up the creamy, aromatic liquid, pretending to drink coffee like old people did. Obviously when I grew up and had my first sip of real, bitter black coffee, I was greatly disappointed – but the Burmese Iced Coffee at Myanmar is very reminiscent of my coffee ice cream slurping days. It’s just as creamy, sweet, and aromatic, which made for a perfect dessert drink.

[ Fried Tofu | Mutton Goat Curry | Nyat Kaukswe Gyaw | Nanjee Thoke ]

Coming from a family that grows and eats fresh chili’s straight off the stems of a backyard chili garden – I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to spicy foods. My brother pours spicy sate sauce into his bowls of pho until the soup becomes opaque and vividly red, my dad’s favorite dish is a chinese pork dish in green chili sauce, and my mom can eat ten 911 fire hot wings feeling disappointed afterwards that it didn’t kick a single taste bud on her tongue, while I can barely finish a bag of spicy cheetoes. As for me – it’s not because I shun spicy food completely and have no tolerance, oh no – I try my hardest to keep trudging through all of the spicy dishes that I order just to prove to myself that I wasn’t the adopted child of the family. I try. Just like I tried at Myanmar to finish my Nyat Kaukswe Gyaw, and nearly cried after the first few bites. I even simultaneously drank sips of my melted coffee ice cream of a drink to tone down the burning of my flaming hot tongue, but it was clear – Burmese spice was like no spice I’ve ever had before. Luckily though, we ordered another dish that I turned out to love – the Nanjee Thoke.

I still have cravings for this dish every now and then, because the textures in this dish were so absolutely unique and unforgettable. You may see a bowl of simple yellow curry noodles with some funny white chips layered on top – but what you don’t know is that the texture of the crushed chick peas, slices of hard-boiled eggs and curry mixes into a sauce that coats every strand of fat rice noodle with a yellow layer that tastes like the rich yolk that you’ll find at the center of a perfectly poached egg. To enhance these textures and tastes – there are strips of chicken, egg whites, and crispy white shrimp chips to give each bite an extra crunch that’ll send your taste buds a wonderful variety of unexpected textures and flavors.

Myanmar Restaurant
7810-C Lee Highway
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 289-0013

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