The Burman Kitchen
Lay Lay Naing and Tin Tin Khine used to cook at The Burman Kitchen in Granville. They were making traditional Burmese food, and they had a loyal local following. But in June 2018 they moved to Surry Hills.
Some of what Niang and Khine offer is old-school, but they also keep it fresh (traditionally some Burmese dishes are highly pungent or unctuously fatty). And while the timber floorboards, marble table tops, the open kitchen and the wall fixtures may all be new, the food is mostly unchanged, although a few new dishes have been added to the menu since the Granville days.
The zakor htamin is an epic, four-to-eight person (depending on what size you get) set meal laid out on a bamboo platter. It comes with miniature versions of Burman Kitchen’s specialities: pickled tea leaf salad and shauthee thote (a lemon pulp, dried prawn and shrimp paste salad). There’s also Burmese-style rice balls (like massive arancini, Niang says), chicken curry, crunchy fried tofu and grilled prawns. Included in the zakor htamin, and also a permanent menu item, is dan pauk, otherwise known as Burmese biryani, a mango-pickle pork curry (say that quickly).
Niang’s daughter and part-time restaurant manager Cassandra has created a list of Southeast Asian-inspired cocktails. Expect boozy bubble teas and spicy Margaritas. Burman Kitchen also serves Myanmar Lager, which is rare in Sydney.