Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Monsoon: A Taste of Local Asian Cuisine, Yangon

An peaceful oasis in the heart of the dilapidated buildings of downtown Yangon is Monsoon, an airy colonial-style restaurant that was started in 2005 by three young entrepreneurial young women — Daw Phyu Phyu Tin with her older sister, Daw Su Su Tin, and a friend, Ms Naya Ehrlich-Adam. During the refurbishment, the trio wanted to pay homage to the building’s history and tried as much as possible to recreate its original elegance. Fans suspended from high ceilings and traditional Myanmar décor provide a classic colonial ambience to the main dining room downstairs. The upstairs dining room is painted sky-blue in the colonial Indian style, as a nod to its original owner. 

Monsoon serves a range of cuisines from Southeast Asia highlighting something they each have in common — the tropical monsoon weather — and as such serve a range of dishes from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, with an emphasis on seafood. The crunchy national favourite, Tea Leaf Salad, is a must. Monsoon also runs cooking classes six days a week. After dinner, guests can wander next door to Pomelo, the well-curated, charming, nonprofit fair-trade boutique to see the work of over 20 local Burmese artists, from charming cloth elephants and hand-blown glass to bright handwoven scarves and ikat longyis, the national sarong style skirt worn buy both men and women throughout Myanmar, with proceeds going to the local communities. 

Vodka Martini with small Myanmar peanuts

A tall icy cold Gin Fizz

The bar at Monsoon

Lephet Thoke - Tea Leaf Salad with dried shrimp, peanuts, garlic and sesame seeds

Arloo Thoke - Myanmar potato salad

Myanmar Lager

Kyether Hin - Traditional Myanmar Chicken Curry with rich gravy

Pazun Acho Hin - Myanmar Prawns in Sweet Curry