Hailing from Yangon, sister-in-laws Lay Lay Naing and Tin Tin Khine have finally brought their much-loved Burmese restaurant to Sydney's inner city. After two years out in Granville, The Burman Kitchen has opened in Surry Hills bringing a rare taste of this under-represented cuisine to Crown Street.
The family-run operation takes the flavours and aromas from the streets of Myanmar — which boasts a unique blend of Indian, Thai and Chinese influences — and combines it with fresh Aussie produce in a range of curries, salads, noodles and desserts. Think specialties like battered soft shell crab with a tangy mango salad ($28), slow-cooked beef curry in a rich and spicy sauce ($15) and a yellow split pea tofu salad with tamarind, dried prawns, garlic oil and kaffir lime leaf ($12).
The latter two are included in the lunch specials ($12–15), when patrons can also nab rice noodle bowls like the shwe taung kaut swe — an egg noodle salad with chicken, cabbage and coriander, dressed with fish sauce and coconut cream.
If you go with a group, the large share platters — served on traditional woven bamboo baskets — are the way to go. Our pick is the zakor htamin ($90–120), which offers a smorgasbord of Burmese specialties, including laphet (fermented tea) and fish rice balls, Kachin-style chicken curry, grilled king prawns and twice-fried tofu with chilli tamarind sauce, plus a selection of seasonal salads. To drink, you'll find inventive house cocktails (all $15) such as a Burmese bubble tea with Baileys and tapioca pearls, a chilli tamarind margarita and a Ngapali Sunrise — combining rum, mango and coconut in crushed ice with jelly.
Top it all off with fruity Burmese shaved ice ($10) for dessert and you'll be leaving with one satisfied appetite.
Images: Trent van der Jagt