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Sep 29, 2007 06:45 AM

Any Burmese restos in GTA?

As an avid politico/news junkie, I am following the events unfolding in Burma with fascination. Learning more about Burma (or Burma Also Known as Myanmar, as the CBC says) and even reading a great novel set in Burma called The Lizard's Cage by Karen Connelly. Wondering about the cuisine and about where I could sample it. I imagine there are influences from Thailand, China and India but I understand from reading threads on other boards that there is a distinctive Burmese cuisine -

However, in my searches of TO resto sites, I have not found any references to Burmese (or Myanmar). Does anyone know if there are any Burmese restaurants (or possibly festivals or community church/temple dinners) in GTA?

(I know I know! that for the most part the people of Burma are poor and starving, so thinking about food may seem incongruous, but I find learning about a people's cuisine helps me understand their history and culture).

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  1. There used to be a place up in Don Mills I believe. There is a place at St Clair and Bathurst owned by a Burmese guy that has some Burmese items (Khao Sawy).
    I've spent some time in Burma and the everyday food is really nothing special at all. Extremely oily.
    In the bigger centers you can get some OK stuff. The pickled tea salad (Lahpet) is kind of interesting, but not something you could do that often. In Burma I usually ended up eating biriyani in the Indian shops. The only really excellent Burmese meal I've experienced was prepared at a home in Bangkok.

    2 Replies
    1. re: koknia

      Ah, that's interesting - about the everyday food, good to know. Thanks.

      1. re: koknia

        Along that line, I remember a good one in Boston years ago called the Mandalay. I haven't found any since worth remembering.

      2. Is Motherhome at 330 Front W still open? Wasn't that great... steam table stir fries and deep-fried stuff.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dimbulb

          Well, I didn't know about Motherhome but yes, it appears to be still open. Got a favourable review on CBC's Beyond Burgers. Might check it out next time I'm in the area. Thanks!

          330 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5V3B7, CA

        2. Haven't found anything remotely authentic in Toronto.
          Found some in LA - but even that wasn't great!
          The Green Elephant restaurant in Bajan, however, was one of the great meals of my life (and I've sent several other visitors there). The air fare is a killer though!

          1. Mandalay in Scarborough offers Burmese curries, which are fairly tasty, and enjoyed by several members of my family and friends. Though, I cannot attest to the authenticity of their cooking.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Apprentice

              Thanks - haven't tried that (yet).

              81 Bloor St E, Toronto, ON M4W1A9, CA

              1. re: estufarian

                Sorry - wrong link and the delete link function isn't working!

                3478 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1H1A9, CA

                1. re: estufarian

                  Estufarian...Mandalay is located on Markham/Lawrence (3478 Lawrence Avenue).

                  I've never eaten Burmese curries prior to Mandalay so I'm interested in your opinion, if you can compare to your previous Burmese tastings. I find their curry works best with shrimp or chicken. My S/O had lamb recently which I found did not work well.

                  Do Burmese curries taste significantly different from a traditional Indian curry (I'm talking onion, garlic, coriander & cumin seed not specific regional curries)?

                  1. re: Apprentice

                    Some ingredients are different, but Burmese tend to be a little milder and the flavours more 'precise' rather than blended (as in most Indian found here). I found more hints of thai food also.
                    Accordingly, I agree that 'white meats' seem to be more successful - most I've had were chicken (but that may be based on ingredient availability).

                      1. re: estufarian

                        Great description. I had a wonderful dinner in Christchurch, NZ, at a Burmese restaurant called The Bodhi Tree. The curries were really delicious, and I loved the hint of tanginess that many of the dishes had (many tamarind?).

                2. Basil Thai on the Danforth between Woodbine and Main is owned by a Burmese guy and has some Burmese dishes. I haven't tried it yest although it's very close to my house.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mariecollins

                    Interesting! I've noticed that place a few times while driving by. Thanks.

                    Basil Thai Kitchen
                    2326 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C, CA