My introduction to Burmese cuisine wasn’t the best one, since it came from a restaurant in Prague (of all places) serving not only Burmese dishes but also Thai and Indian (!). I remember liking it, but that was many years ago, and since then I had the chance to get re-aquainted properly with the food from that country thanks to the ever-popular Burma Superstar in the Richmond (where else, duh). Unfortunately, the long waits for a Muni bus and for a table once there have prevented me from eating there more than once or twice a year. Fortunately, I recently discovered an alternative in the neighborhood: Burmese Kitchen!
Located on Larkin street at Turk (next to a Hawaiian restaurant that I need to check out soon, by the way) it’s a small and cozy space where you can usually see the owner checking on the customers satisfaction (I always love that, especially on budget restaurants). We went there for dinner and although most of the tables were full, I get the feeling that due to their vicinity to the Civic Center they are much busier during lunch time.
I was tempted by their combo meals, but in the end I ordered two courses, starting with a tea leaf salad:
It was very nutty and crunchy, which I liked, but the taste of the tea leaves was very subtle compared to the rest of the (vinegary?) dressing. Humin, on the other hand, has a weakness for samusas so that’s what he ordered.
I prefer meat samusas, so I don’t remember these being particularly memorable since they were filled with a potato paste. It seems that our friend Goldentooth really liked them, though:
Samusas came out looking all gorgeous golden and crispy. They came with a sauce that was bright red, an eensy bit sweet, spicy with big chili flakes and complexly salty, probably, I would guess, from some sort of preserved fish product. The wrappers were perfectly light and greaseless, and the potato filling steamed as you bit into them. The slight sweetness of the tuber mix was just right complemented by the dipping sauce. Thinking about them now, my mouth is watering, I can taste that chili sauce…man, you guys, I think this is the perfect food. I’m getting a little emotional over here.
My main dish was prawns and sour leaf, which I ordered because I like sour things and seafood, and also because the quality of the seafood in Asian restaurants is my way to gauge how good their ingredients are. I’m happy to report that these prawns passed the test. I expected the dish to be a bit more spicy, though, as it wasn’t spicy at all.
Our other main dish was, hmmm, something with pork and a tasty sauche, but somehow I can’t remember which one of their pork dishes it was (we ate there a couple of weeks ago, after all). What I remember is that, again, the sauce was good but lacked a bit of spiciness.
Overall I liked the inviting ambiance of the place, the menu and the prices, but the food didn’t particulary stand out. I feel like I have to eat there again and try more dishes.