In six years that I have been here, scores of restaurants have opened and tens have shut down as well. The initial foot falls are high and the quality of food appealing. But gradually we find many of them with few diners, somewhat deserted, and one day, the place shuts down, sometimes taken over by another eatery. Public memory is short, and names are soon forgotten too.
The ones to stay include Rangoon Tea House, Nara Thai, Corriander Leaf, Marina, Thai 47, to name a few. the reason for their staying alive, isn’t difficult to gauge – their quality has remained the same over time, and they have made improvements based on customer reviews. Foodies I guess, I wish to replicate experiences, savor their favorite dishes and expect the same taste, aroma and flavors each time.
Some restaurant experiences leave a lot to be desired, but over time, we have learnt to scale down our expectations and be more accepting of what comes our way. This is also in keeping with the Buddhist way of life, to be equanimous, non-reacting and less critical, and we find ourselves becoming softer, less aggressive and hence improving as individuals.
For me, the best pizzas are still at Parami Pizza, even though many new Italian restaurants have opened. Sharky’s pizzas are good too, but Parami scores higher. We are not partial to the Americanized versions with thick crusts and an overload of cheese and other toppings. Even the soups, salads and meats are cooked to perfection, the pastas creamy but light, while L’Opera has very rich sauces that overfill.
The best Chinese still at Dou Hua, the Chinese restaurant on the first floor at Park Royal Hotel. Buffett and a la carte selections offer variety and it is difficult to find fault in any of the preparations. The familiar, friendly staff adds to the warm ambience.
For Thai I like Nara Thai even though their omelet isn’t as sinfully deep fried. The ambience is appealing, clean, spacious, and attentive staff, which is a welcome change from older Thai eateries that look dated and somewhat musty. However, of late, there have been complaints about a change in the food being served.
Gekko, quite the favorite for Japanese cuisine, is a bit difficult to find, without a conspicuous name board outside, one misses it despite being right in front. Like a typical bar, it is dark on ground level, loud music, and not quite a place for both food and conversation.
If its just food, then the ultimate is, to use Yangon Door2door to deliver the cuisine of your choice, at your doorstep, to savor in the comfort of your home. This concept of home delivery has transformed the food scene in Yangon and has become extremely popular in a short span of time. The list of restaurants covered is getting longer, and their earnings from the restaurants not the customers.