Once upon a time in Burma
Fresh from a trip to Myanmar where they interacted with different tribes of the country, the owner and chef at an eatery have whipped up a new rustic menu
In our country, sharing forms the backbone of most meals. And not far away, in neighbouring Myanmar, the ethos apparently is much the same. There, people sit together before a community tray bamboo set, which typically comprises piles of rice, different curries, as well as sweets. Each individual has a small plate, but everyone takes their food from the shared bamboo set.
We learn of this tradition from Ankit Gupta — owner of a seven-year-old vegetarian Burmese restaurant that is all set to launch their celebratory Thingyan menu next week that embodies this spirit of eating — who was travelling through the country in March. "This is how a community in Myanmar eats on a daily basis. They all sit on low stools and pass the food around," Gupta tells us.
Ankit Gupta stirring khao suey in Mon state in 2019
"When we started off with our Mumbai outlet, my chef and I had travelled extensively within Yangon and Mandalay, so the menu predominantly featured dishes from those cities. But in the last seven years, we have evolved and travelled across different villages, consuming food with the locals and staying at their homes. Now, it is a holistic menu comprising street food, tribal dishes and community meals, too," he adds, speaking of the authentic spread that will feature local treats like spicy avocado tea leaf salad made with Burmese avocados and tea leaves and 999 noodles, which pays homage to a popular neighbourhood shan noodle shop in Yangon called 999 Noodle Shop.
At: Burma Burma, Kothari House, Oak Lane, Fort.
On: May 17 to June 2, 12 pm to 3 pm; 7 pm to 11 pm
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