Here's your chance to try Burmese food, one of South East Asia's most delicious and intriguing cuisines, courtesy of one of its most ardent advocates, MiMi Aye, the author of MANDALAY: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen (Bloomsbury) and NOODLE! (Absolute Press), founder of meemalee.com, and host of Burmese Food and Beyond.
Burmese food is a little like Thai, a little like Indian and a little like Chinese (hardly surprising since those are Burma aka Myanmar's neighbours), but it takes these influences and then combines them with techniques, ingredients and flavours of its own to make something subtle, delicious and unique.
This is a lunchclub rather than a supperclub - the menu will vary, but will include such dishes as Shan tofu fritters, Mogok pork curry, lahpet thoke aka pickled tea-leaf salad, and the national dish Mohinga, a fish noodle soup.
BYOB, although water will be provided.
Please let me know of any dietary restrictions on the booking form and I will try my best to accommodate, but peanuts, fish sauce and shrimp paste are common ingredients.
Address will be provided at the time of booking, but it will always be based in London.
MANDALAY: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen
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What a feast!! Amazing food which was beautifully served. Please host one again soon MImi.
A wonderful introduction to Burmese food
I've never had Burmese food before and wasn't entirely sure what to expect. But there was no need to worry, the Burmese noodle fest from Burmese food and beyond was spectacular.
A six course journey through the different noodle dishes that make up a day's menu in Burma, complete with explanations about where each dish was from and how it would be made or served traditionally.
We started with Tohu Kyaw - tofu fritters. I'm not generally a huge fan of tofu, I find it tasteless and bland, but apparently I've been eating the wrong type of tofu all my life. What I should have been eating is Burmse tofu, which was delicious and seemed to have more in common with polenta or potato than anyoher tofu I've eaten. I'm determined to get the recipe from the chef MiMi as it's something I defintiely want to eat again and on a regular basis. The Tohu Kyaw also came with a delicious dipping source and was officially the "snack" part of the menu. The sauce was so nice - made from tamarind and fish sauce I think - that I ate all of mine and finished off the portion of the person next to me!
The remaining 5 courses were identified as breakfast, lunch, dinner, breakfast and dessert. The first breakfast was Mohinga, Burmese fish chowder - a wonderfully warming dish eaten with crumbled crunchy bits (no clue what they were apart from delicious) and dry chillies. There's only so many different ways to call something delicious and I am sure I will run out of synonyms before long in this review but rest assured that every part of the meal was spectacular and I cannot wait to book tickets for the next lunch/supper club event that Burmese food and beyond schedules.
The lunch course was Nangyi-Thohk, Mandalay hand mixed noodles. These were thick and flat noodles with chicken, peanuts, coriander and more. Absolutely delicious.
Dinner as Mogok Meeshay, Mogok Pork and round rice noodles. Mogok is a town where part of the chef's family is from, and if this recipe is indicative of the quality of food served there it's somewhere I want to visit!
By the second breakfast course I will admit I was starting to feel full. I keep trying to leave room in my stomach and not eat everything on my plate but the food was too good - I couldn't not eat it! Second breakfast (!) was Ohn-no Khao Swé - coconut chicken noodles. So delicious.
Dessert was banana cake - Nga-Byaw-Thee Kreik-Mohnt in Burmese. It was served with small fruit popping balls and a creamy jelly type thing that I have completely forgotten the name of. There was also Yay Nway Jun - Burmese green tea.
Despite the sheer amount of food provided, and the fact that I had cleared every plate, I never felt I had eaten too much. I was comfortably full of delicious food. The meal took about between 3 and 4 hours from start to finish, with dishes arriving throughout. It was a wonderful experience to eat my way through a journey of food. A perfect introduction to a cuisine I knew nothing about that leaves desperately wanting to find out more.
And have more of that tofu but that was just amazing.