Blurb: a real temple, where the god is gastronomy
Atmospherics: Myanmar is on the cultural, trade and culinary crossroads of Asia, so there are influences of India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and all of these are observable in Burma Burma. It is not a rich country, however, so the vegetarian cuisine of the restaurant is perfectly suited to showcase the cuisine, though within Myanmar, meat is commonly eaten. However, the restaurant’s decision not to serve it either in their Mumbai branch or at Cyber Hub is probably to keep the verisimilitude to a place of worship. Burma Burma has large temple bells on the ceiling and the colourful, folksy décor is charming and atmospheric. Myanmar has several communities from India, including Marwaris and Tamilians, and samosas are a part of the country’s cuisine, as are idlis that have undergone several metamorphoses. The restaurant leaves no stone unturned to bring you spot-on authentic Burmese food, complete with tea leaf salad and sunflower seeds that are hand-carried from Myanmar.
Table talk: The menu is completely unfamiliar, so you will need help. Ankit Gupta, the owner, goes from table to table, assisting first-timers with choices: his mother’s entire family lived in Myanmar for decades. You will need a slightly adventurous palate to enjoy the tea leaf salad (Rs 350) but it is one of the healthiest choices in this or any other menu because of the mild alkalinity. Raw mango salad (Rs 320) has the trademark taste of crushed peanuts in it to add body; other preparations have powdered roasted chana added for body. Sunflower leaves and wheat flake salad (Rs 340) embodies the food of this fascinating country: sunflower leaves is hardly a common ingredient; wonton flakes take a Chinese ingredient and stand it on its head; and onions are used both sliced raw and fried caramelized. A three salad sampler is available for Rs 480. Not everything is unfamiliar: samosa soup (Rs 220) tasted like a Thai soup with a desi samosa dunked in it, but was perfectly delicious. And our Burmese naan with creamy white pea was strongly reminiscent of the Maharashtrian vatana, down to the crushed peanuts and hint of coconut milk.
Plus and minus: even two visits cannot do this absolute gem of a place justice. Have the teas on the menu, enjoy the style of service and the accessories. However, this restaurant is lost in the melee of Cyber Hub.
Must try: Shwedagon khowsuey, coconut rice with peanut chutney, Burmese salsa with sticky rice
Food: 4, Service: 4, Décor: 4
DLF Cyber Hub, Shop No 6, Bldg 8, Gurgaon
Open from 12.30 to 3 pm and 7-11 pm
No alcohol served; credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 2,200