09 August 2013

myanmar cuisine

it's rare you get a chance to try a completely new cuisine, with no conception of what flavors or spices or textures to expect.

that was us on our first day here. we ate at a famous local restaurant called "feel," popular among locals and adventurous tourists alike. even anthony bourdain had to stop at feel when looking for authentic burmese (or "myanmar" - what an awkward language convention!) food.

ordering is crazy - you walk with your waiter into a crowded restaurant with a huge display of dozens of salads and vegetables and meat dishes crowded into a little buffet display, then point to what you want, which is soon carried to your table along with a huge pot of steamed rice. a whole filling meal for the table costs the equivalent of $5 or $10 at most.

i also find that while vegetable dishes are easy to come by, you have to be more careful to avoid having fish paste and fish sauce in the base of your meal. some of our favorite dishes are feel's tea leaf salad, tomato salad, bean salad, corn salad, and lime salad. the word "salad" doesn't really describe them - they're totally diverse foods - but we don't have any better identifiers to distinguish them in english.

we've also been by feel again and found they have really good (imported) gelato - who knew?

friend veggie spring rolls are a crowd favorite. this was at be kind to animals the moon in bagan.

honestly, burmese food is good but i wouldn't want it for every meal. we've been eating loads of thai food as well, like curries and pad thai; occasional indian or indian-influenced cuisine; a few of our indonesian favorites like mee goreng; and for some reason penne arrabiata has become our go-to meal at "international" restaurants.

and we've had plenty of fruit juice, as well. mango, pineapple, lime, ginger, papaya, even avocado: it's all delicious here.

avocado juice?! not sure how i feel about this one. it's like a really creamy milkshake with an avocado aftertaste.

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