[MYANMAR] - Food to eat in Mandalay

Although Barma people is predominantly in Myanmar and the cuisine is largely influenced by the Barmese, the situation is different in Mandalay. Having a close proximity to the Shan region, the food in Mandalay is largely inspired by the Shan. The influx of tourists to Mandalay also helped the blooming of gastronomy offerings in Mandalay, with the blooming of restaurant and food centre. Despite that, the culinary experience here still much centred on the street foods.

 Generally, the food in Mandalay if much oily if we were to compare to those in Malaysia. It is also much creamy and an extensive of meat are being used. If you are looking for sources of fibre, just go for the salad as the noodles seldom come with vegetables. 

Here are some of the impressive food we have tried in Mandalay:

1) Shwe Shan Buffet (Golden Shan Restaurant)

Food to eat in Mandalay



Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

This is like a must go if you are looking for Shan food in Mandalay. For only 4000 kyat, you get access to eat all you can buffet, featured basically almost varieties of Shan dishes and well appease your hunger.

The concept is like an economy rice stall with trays of dishes displayed nicely for your pick. You may load mountain of dishes to your plate, and go back multiple times. The restaurant is very generous in replenishing the dishes. When we were there at 8pm, they were still preparing some dishes in the kitchen!

Shan dishes are cooked with more spice and less oily if compared to Barmese food. This is what I have for my first trip to the food counter. If I were to have this in Malaysia, probably it would have cost me $2.5.

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Go for their salad if you like something raw. Otherwise, their condiments work well with it. The restaurant is also generous on giving huge bananas for you, and you can eat as many as you can. The taste is slightly off though, too raw I supposed. On top of that, they have their very own dessert on every table.

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

On a sidebar note, we quite like their restaurant ambience. Though it was not air conditioned but it was kept clean and the design was nostalgic. 

Golden Shan Restaurant
Address: 84 street, between 23 and 23rd Street, Mandalay
Operation hours : 8am - 10am (selling Shan Noodles)
10am - 9:30pm (Shan Buffet)


2. Myee Shay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

The charming Myee Shay at 16th Street allures people from different strata to sit down at this modest stall, just to enjoy a bowl of rice noodles with pork innards for $1. Though appears to be simple, the rice noodles here pack a bold taste to tantalise the palate of the exotic demanding gourmets. Beware of the sinful pork lards, sprinkled and hidden in between the noodles, which agitate and arouse the taste buds when bits of it was chewed.

The flavourful pork ribs soup is way to good to say no to it. We emptied the whole bowl and had communication hindrance to request for more. The dine-in experience is further made special by sitting on a stool and enjoy this hot soup.

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

When we first approached the guy for ordering, he showed disinterest and could not understand neither English nor our hand language. We tried to show 2 bowls using our fingers and he seemed confused. Then we heard somebody behind us speaking English to us, confirming our order and helped us to put in the order. Suddenly the feeling was like "thank god you were here!". We were so grateful that we bumped into our angel of the day!

We had a short conversation with the lady. She used to work in Singapore and is back to Mandalay for good. She was surprised how we get to know this place and shared with us that the noodles are good here. Guess we were lucky! 

16th Street Myee Shay
Address: 16th Street (between 81st and 82nd street)
Operation hours: 8.30am to 3pm


3. Shwe Pyi Moe Tea House

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Shwe Pyi Moe Tea House is akin like a food court in Malaysia, featuring different dishes at one place. It is a great place for you to stop by when you are on a short stay in Mandalay so you can have a taste of different dishes. Since we have tasted the popular Mohinga (rice noodle and fish soup) in Yangon, we decided to expand our palate experience.

 Making a choice in Shwe Pyi Moe is a tough decision. Though the menu is aided in English but the thickness of menu made us spent some time flipping through it. Under certain circumstances, we just hate to make choices. Don't you?

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

We settle for Chicken Noodle Salad, or known in Burmese as Mont Di, which consists of thick rice noodles, meat and yellow creamy sauce. Mont Di usually come with fishes but it was replaced with meat here because Mandalay being a central region in Myanmar with limited access to water, then leads to scarcity of fishes.

The yellowish creamy sauce is derived from cooking the chicken meat, and thus giving the entire meal a bold taste. It did taste over greasy but we were fine with it, as Burmese dishes tend to be skewed to be oily.

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

We went for a plate of Mandalay Shan Noodles as well. It does not seem to differ much from the Mont Di, except there is an additional of chilli oil and some meat balls. The inclusion of chilli oil further greased it and we felt it was overwhelmed despite the strong taste.

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Yet as we were about to bid farewall to the food court, the patrons on neighbouring tables were served some steamed buns, and we were tempted and telling each other "hey, that looks good, should we order and try it?"

In Myanmar, steamed buns are called Pausi. They are alike the baozi we had in Malaysia except the fillings tasted different. We had two Pausi with fish and red bean and fish filling respectively but unfortunately they did not impress us. 

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Tea has infused into Burmese culture to the extent every dining table is provided a pot of tea free of charge, regardless of dining venue. The staff is more than willing to help you refill your teapot too. What an unique culture! 

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Burmese love milk tea and we liked the way it is presented in smaller cup. Considered the smaller cup is a blessing in disguise as the milk tea is slightly skewed toward the sweet side. 

It cost us total 3850 kyat for all the above at Shwe Pyi Moe Teahouse.

Shwe Pyi Moe Cafe
Address: 66th St, between 26th and 27th Street
Operation hours: 6am - 5pm


4. Chicken Chapati (flat bread)

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay
 We'd surprised to find Indians are often seen in Myanmar, and their influence has integrated into Burmese daily life in many senses - economy, food or culture. We realized flat breads (known as roti canai in Malaysia) were available in Myanmar  in Shwe Pyi Moe Teahouse after went through their menu. That night itself, at 82th Street (between 27 and 28th Street), we located a roadside stall selling flat breads. 

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

We ordered chicken chapati with a curry chicken for 1900 kyat. We still prefer Malaysian style chapati over here, as the dough feels thicker. The chicken meat was good but the curry was overdosed with a few pinches of salt. 1900 kyat (close to $2) probably was too expensive for a meal like this.

Tea was provided free flow and a refill can be asked from the counter.

Address: 82 street, between 27 & 28 Street 
Operation hours: 4pm - 11pm


5. Shan Salad

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

Food to eat in Mandalay

We actually came here for their Shan Tofu but ended up with disappointment. The communication broke down as the staff cannot speak English well and just told us "no Shan Tofu" and only Shan Salad available. Thus, we went for Shan Salad (1000 kyat) instead as this was the only choice available.

It still puzzled us why the dish was named Salad but there were no presence of any vegetables but only sprinkles of onion tops. The sticky noodles with sweet gravy cling on it appeased our palate well, and we added some chilli oil to induce some hotness. Ability of adherence of the sauce to the noodles was attributed to sticky rice which made the noodles.

Addeess: 71st street, between 34th and 35th street
Operation Hours: 7am to 12pm


6. Street Food

Food to eat in Mandalay

There are abundance of street vendors in Mandalay, offering a great food journey in Mandalay if you have the guts to try them out. We were sceptical toward the hygiene status especially when it involves raw or watery food.

Nonetheless, we were tempted to try this snack depicted in the above picture, selling just outside of our hotel. We had no idea what was the name, it was a smear layer of egg on some flour and topped with various ingredients. Surprisingly, this snack turned out to be something exotic, the crispy omelette snack turned out to be salty and spicy, and almost choked us!

We are sure there are plenty of great food in Mandalay still. Pardon us, we only have a short one and a half day here, thus unable to explore more and share with you guys. Most of the food hunting in Mandalay was inspired by blogger MissTamChiak. 


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~End~

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