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An almsgiving feast in Yangon

My family’s trip to Burma this past January coincided with my aunt’s and uncle’s. In honor of my grandmother, who passed away 17 years ago, they arranged an almsgiving ceremony at the Tipitaka Monastery in the centre of Yangon. As I’ve said before, the community is interwoven into the fabric of Burmese life. Almsgiving ceremonies, which are really communal feasts, including a donation of alms to the monastery, are just another manifestation of the this generous spirit. And the lunch served was absolutely delicious.

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YKKO – Yangon

YKKO (short for Yan Kin Kyay Oh or ရန်ကင်းကြေးအိုး) is one of the few restaurants in Yangon specializing in kyay oh (literally ‘copper pot’), a Burmese noodle soup with flat rice noodles, pork intestines and an egg. It has a few franchises throughout town, but kyay oh (ကြေးအိုး) is not nearly as popular as biryani. I think kyay oh has Chinese origins, but I’m not 100% sure.

The folks here let you choose what kind of noodles (flat, thin, thick, etc) you want and how you want it cooked (fried or in soup). First up was kyay oh with flat noodles. The soup base is very meaty and there’s a half-cooked egg that’s added on top.

My sister ordered a variation of dry kyay oh, called kyay oh si gyet (ကြေးအိုးဆီကြက်), meaning it’s been fried in cooked oil and garnished with fried garlic. It comes with a soup that’s lighter than the one found in kyay oh.

I ordered the same thing, except my soup base was meatier and there was a quail egg included. The pork meat is really tender and easy to eat.

No. 286, Seikkantha St.,
Kyauktada Township, Yangon


Golden City – Yangon

Golden City (ရွှေမြို့တော် ချစ်တီး စားတော်စက်) is a Yangon-based franchise serving Burmese-style Southern Indian (Chettiar) cuisine. Most tourists who go to Burma realize that Indian and Chinese restaurants are much more common than native Burmese ones, especially in the cities. I think it’s because locals would much rather eat home-cooked Burmese food.

The insides are clean and comfortable. It’s a rather spotless restaurant, but it’s thoroughly local. And there’s an army of waiters at your beck and call.

My dad ordered aloo poori (အာလူးပူရီ) with goat curry (ဆိပ်သားဟင်း), served in the traditional Southern Indian style. Potato poori (puff-like bread) is dipped into the curry sauce and eaten with the side of dahl. It was pretty tasty, but not warm enough. (Burmese people tend to eat curries once they’re cooled, but I’m not used to that at all. It’s sorta unappetizing.)

As appetizers, we got some samusas (ဆမူစာ). Burmese samusas look more like flat, triangle-shaped dumplings than their Indian counterparts. The insides are a bit saltier too. Since my aunt thought they’d been out for awhile, she asked them to refry these, which explains why they look so greasy.

Someone also ordered Panthay (Chinese Muslim) rice (ပန်းသေးထမင်းကြော်), which wasn’t distinct at all. It just tasted like Chinese fried rice.

Panthay (Chinese Muslim) noodles with chicken (ပန်းသေးခေါက်ဆွဲ). It’s a dish of noodles and meat curry in a lightly oiled sauce, topped off with egg. It’s not spicy, and has a very distinct masala spice scent.

A variation of Panthay (Chinese Muslim) noodles with goat meat.

All in all, the food was okay, but nothing spectacular.

Address: near Downtown?