Kothari House, Allana Centre Lane Fort, Mumbai
Meal for two:?Rs 1,500
A small signboard in the shape of a doll welcomes visitors and sets the tone for this charming eatery. Dolls, wooden owls, plump teapots and Mere piya gaye Rangoon-style umbrellas conjure up a colourful corner of Burma. As does the creative menu. Burma Burma specialises in vegetarian Burmese food—a brave step, given that Burmese cuisine is heavily dependent on seafood and meats. But the tantalising pages of salads and steamed buns make you feel at ease. We start our meals with bowls of hearty soup. The Peppery Vegetable Broth (Rs 180) bobs around with garden-fresh veggies, while the heartier Burmese Bean Curd Soup (Rs 180) is a hit.
Being a salad-person, I’m excited about the Mandalay Laphet Thoke (Rs 320) and the Samusa Thoke (Rs 290)—versions of the famous Burmese dish that is a cross between chaat and salad. The Laphet Thoke turns out to be piquant, made of fermented tea leaves, sprouts, nuts, tomato and tossed with garlic and sesame seeds. While the Samusa Thoke proves that the Burmese can make a delectably crunchy salad out of anything—including a stodgy samosa.
The Rice Dumplings (Rs 280) are fried, chewy morsels that go well with sauces. While the Steamed Buns (Rs 250) are mildly-flavoured. The Nanji Kaukswe (Rs 290), a dry variation of Khau Suey, with a strong coconutty flavour, was disappointing. The Spicy Veg Curry (Rs 280) is rather generic. But the Mo Hin (Rs 320), a mushroom stir-fry, is enjoyable. Our meal ends with a steaming pot of Japanese Sencha (Rs 250). A day later, the Grapefruit Thoke and Royal Myanmar Cha beckoned us!