It might seem strange to trek to the Paris end of the CBD for a little taste of Burma, but if you’re yet to be acquainted with this pocket of Southeast Asia, Burma Lane is serving a fine interpretation of a vibrant and under-represented cuisine.
Nabbing a handful of Red Spice Road veterans, including ex-McKillop head chef Adam Trengove and ex-QV manager Shaun Moorhouse, the team that developed a cult following with their reinvention of traditional Southeast Asian flavours has journeyed to Burma for their third venture.
Presided over by the iconic ‘Freedom to Lead’ image of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the polished split-level interior is a modern, eye-catching setting for a traditional feast. Tea-stained propaganda posters have been pasted to a towering column, birdcage lighting features extend the freedom motif. The menus are printed with traditional Burmese sayings and there’s even an entire wall of holiday snaps from Burma.
From the rockling mohinga to the crunchy pickled tealeaf salad, the food is an exercise in inspired combinations. Small offerings range from a delicate open parcel of betel leaf, chicken and green mango to a crispy soft shell crab with dandauk salad and sour chilli. Noodles are tossed with scallop and barbeque pork, duck or slow cooked chicken, while salads gain their crunch from broad beans, shaved cabbage and sawtooth coriander. For bigger bites it’s all about aromatic curries with tender cuts of goat shoulder and beef cheek.
If it’s all a bit overwhelming, you can just leave it to the chef with a custom ‘Taste the Best of Burma’ option for $65.
The restaurant also supports a number of charities through Pomelo, an umbrella group that provides practical training and financial aid to disadvantaged communities in Burma.
118 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Mon to Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-late
(03) 9615 8500