The city of Yangon in Myanmar offers one of the most authentic and raw travel experiences that I have had in recent years. During my weekend travel to Yangon, I stayed in one of the Horizon Club Rooms at the Sule Shangri-La, Yangon. One of the things that I had difficult with most (since I am a fairly unadventurous traveller) during my stay was where to find food - so I have gone ahead to put together five of my favourite restaurants that I have checked out in Yangon.
1. 999 Shan Noodle Shop
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/vVRb1MC6SGz
If I had to pick one place that was commonly talked about on TripAdvisor or travel blogs, it would have to be 999 Shan Noodle Shop. Located just behind City Hall on 34th Street, 999 Shan Noodles is popular amongst international travellers. It certainly feels like a 'touristy spot' but apparently the food still stays true to the local version. To be honest, I wasn't really sure what I ordered - I only remember that there were different renditions of the noodles with an option of having either dry or in a soup - I opted for both (since I did not know which one to choose) but really preferred the dry version instead.
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/HWkoyxwZLus
Reminiscent of a cocktail lounge in someone's house, Gekko offers delicious yakitori, sushi (which I did not try) and carefully-concocted cocktails. This is a restaurant that obviously caters towards the expat crowd and you will definitely notice it from the higher price points and menu offerings. Gekko which literally translates into 'moonshine', is housed within a historic Sofaer & Co. building in downtown Rangoon. They were running a free-flow sushi buffet when I visited it on a weekend - it was US$25 for food-only and US$35 with free-flowing beer but hey I did not come to Yangon for sushi (neither did I come here to visit a bar but hey you win some, you lose some).
Not many people know this but the Japanese-inspired cocktail menu is actually designed by the famous 28 Hong Kong Street speakeasy bar in Singapore. There are also two private rooms and it offers one of the fastest internet connections in the whole of Yangon (yes, that's right, fiber optic internet connection!). I wasn't particularly impressed with the cocktails - they were good, just not memorable. With that being said, the food was excellent and every dish that I tried was perfect! If you do not wish to take your chances, go for the usual neat - they do have a really healthy selection of whiskies and sake - but otherwise, check out the cocktail menu for some interesting recipes.
3. Rangoon Tea House
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/ZpxH2LQqGYH2
Another place that everyone seemed to recommend was the Rangoon Tea House and I actually visited it late in the evening when lighting was at its worst. Therefore, the photos taken here are terribly ugly but please bear with them since the food on the other hand were absolutely stunning - I wish I discovered it a little earlier in my trip so I can come back for a revisit but there's always another time (besides, I definitely have to go back when The Peninsula Yangon finally opens).
I decided not to try the Mohinga (which I have tried on a separate day) since I did not like the first version I try and when I saw Coconut Noodles on the menu, I knew I had to order it. When It finally arrived, it was everything like a Khao Soi (which I have first tried in the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort and then again at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok). It was served in a delicious pea broth that is cooked with coconut milk and tumeric - you will also find chicken liver and gizzard in the dish! Drink prices are also fairly reasonable so many sure you try some of their specialty cocktails!
4. Café Sule in Sule Shangri-La, Yangon
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/f8zMmF3SUbp
I chose to have my breakfast at the Café Sule at Sule Shangri-La, Yangon when I stayed there - as an in-house guest with Horizon Club access, I had the option of having breakfast in the Horizon Club or enjoy a full buffet experience at the Café Sule. The selection at the restaurant was really quite impressive and there is a dedicated corner that features local Burmese food for any traveller that wishes to try it - I also think that it is a great place to start with the local food before you head out to try the dishes that you truly like.