Having blossomed under the big city lights of Mumbai and Gurgaon, Burma Burma has moseyed down further south to open the Bangalore edition of this pure-veg, tee-totalling Burmese restaurant and tea house. Full points from the neighbourhood paati for optimum maryaada, straight out of the gate. Charming honey gold wood and floral parasols promise an oh-so-casually elegant background for a #SundayFunday boomerang. But our aesthetic approval lasts as long as our Instastories; we’re too quickly absorbed in the menu’s extensive selections.
The blistering afternoon outside has necessitated a beginning with bubble teas. Our millennial companion stays on-brand by going for a black bubble tea with activated charcoal, while we soothe our elderly nerves with a yuzu-flavoured one. Both teas, brewed with a house black tea blend, hit the spot right away, reinvigorating our appetite for the meal ahead.
Eager to prolong this renewed energy, we dive into guava salad, which is eerily reminiscent of the peanut masala that ‘chats’ anna near BDA complex hooks us up with. Naan pe bya (Burmese naan with creamy white pea) is infinitely more interesting. The naan is the lovechild of a flaky flatbread and a crisp bhatura - the perfect carrier for the indulgent herbed white pea and brown onion mash it accompanies. The cast iron pot it comes in is rapidly scraped clean; we stare longingly at our server’s back as he carries back plates.
For our entrées: Burma’s national dish, mohingar, and a golden samuza kari accompanied by laphet tofu kyaw, fried rice with tea leaf. We fight (quite literally) over the fragrant rice, peppered with crispy fried garlic and crunchy peanuts; but the samuza kari seems almost a changeling. It’s the familiar samosa, smashed up and dunked into your standard yellow dal: two wonderful components, but this misses the mark entirely on the satisfaction scale. Mohingar fares a bit better. Unlike a heavy khow suey, this tangy, spicy broth is fleet-footed as it dances across the taste buds, and heavily customisable - it comes with a cupcake tray of garnishes to mix and match just as you do with the khow suey.
We round the meal out with a smokey avocado ice cream with honey caviar and a “Burma Bomb.” The former turns out to be eminently lickable, its buttery creaminess mercifully not over-sweetened. It makes every pop of the honey caviar a delight that leaves us wanting just one more scoop - we’d choose this over poshed up dal any day. The Burma Bomb, in keeping with its tasteless name, is your bog-standard exercise in chocolate decadence. We dig through multiple forms of silky chocolate, only distracted by a scant spoonful of intriguing cranberry coulis at the very end. It valiantly tries to stave off our boredom with this confectionary overload, but - alas! - fails. It’s faultless, but nothing to write home about: much like the rest of our experience.
Getting there: 12th Main, Indiranagar, just after 4th Cross, opposite Tata Cha. A hearty meal for two costs about Rs. 3500.
Accessibility: One flight of stairs (with a banister) from the pavement leading up to the doors.
Sushmita Sundaram enjoys writing about funny people and odd things. Follow her on Twitter at @sushmitas.
Wake up to daily updates on what to eat/shop/do in your city