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Any 'Must Orders' at Rangoon in Philly?

Steve Mar 16, 2009 07:01 AM

Chowhound from DC was in conversation with Philly Chowhound (can't remember the name). Philly Chowhound thought that Rangoon was better than Myanmar, a Chowhound favorite in the Virginia suburbs in DC.

Now that I'll finally be up in Philly for a couple of days, I am wondering what to order at Rangoon.


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  1. q
    qianning RE: Steve Mar 16, 2009 07:15 AM

    I like their Jin Thoke (ginger salad). By the way, if you are ever in Boston, Yo Ma in Allston is even better than Rangoon in Philly!

    1. m
      mhdousa RE: Steve Mar 16, 2009 07:38 AM

      thousand-layer bread and anything in the jungle curry.

      1. h
        Hungryin theBurbs RE: Steve Mar 16, 2009 07:44 AM

        Ginger salad, squid salad, the fried tofu app (can't remember the name), the fish soup is amazing, as well as the jungle curries, chili shrimp, and banana leaf fish. Overall, I don't think the noodle dishes are as good, though they aren't bad.

        1. j
          jemom RE: Steve Mar 16, 2009 09:03 AM

          I second the thousand layer bread and the jungle curry. I also love the spinach salad and the green bean salad. As for noodles, we thought the northern burma noodles were really good.

          1. b
            bakerloo RE: Steve Mar 16, 2009 09:23 AM

            I echo everyone else with the thousand layer bread. It's heaven!

            1. thehungrything RE: Steve Mar 16, 2009 05:32 PM

              There are just too many good dishes to recommend.....
              I like the Spring Ginger Salad (as does everyone else it appears!), the glass noodle and potato salad, the squid salad, Rangoon night market noodles, chicken keema (this dish is served over thousand layer bread), spicy eggplant.

              1. u
                user928 RE: Steve Mar 16, 2009 07:55 PM

                Whatever you order, you will certainly enjoy. However, after many samplings, my perfect Rangoon meal consists of the thousand layer bread with curry potato dip, summer chicken salad (it's fantastic!), and jungle shrimp (the shrimp are perfectly cooked .. indescribable). It's a lot of food for one person, so I share with a friend. Enjoy!

                1 Reply
                1. re: user928
                  Steve RE: user928 Mar 17, 2009 05:45 AM

                  I don't mind over-ordering when I travel, if just to sample. However, if any Chowhounds are willing to join me for lunch this Wednesday, they can always PM me.

                2. rabidog RE: Steve Mar 17, 2009 08:23 PM

                  one thing's for sure... neither place is too creative with their names!!! :)

                  i know, i know, it's the wrong board, but... i grew up in the DC area and i've never been to myanmar (the restaurant). it's slightly ironic that i am heading to DC in a few days to apply for a visa to myanmar (the country)... so i only feel it's proper i eat there too. my dad lives in the area, and i'll bet if i buy him lunch he'll drive me out there. we'll have to compare notes once it's all said and done!

                  i just ate at rangoon ?last week? and while i always enjoy my meals there, they definitely rely heavily on the deep fryer. not that there's anything wrong with that sometimes. :) i definitely love the fried bean curd salad (i still stand by this even though last time it was a tad lacking in flavor). and the thousand layer bread with the potato dip - i think there are at least three dip choices. and the lentil fritters (forget their name but it might have firecracker in it), while a little plain, come with a really tasty dipping sauce that makes the dish all worth it. entrees, i always find so similar to thai entrees, that i often order a bunch of small plates and appetizers, since those are what differ the most from other cuisines i feel. and it's a good plan for solo dining, too! (though still be prepared for some leftovers!) other apps i've had recently are the fried tofu, which is a bit heavy and non-tofu like, and the taro root, which is fried and almost french-fry-like. compared to the other dishes, though, i don't like them as much.

                  oh - i almost forgot my favorite thing - i can't remember its name, but there is a dessert that i can best describe as a soup of white things. the broth is white (coconut milk), there are clear tapiocas, some white translucent jelly candy like stuff and some sticky rice. sounds odd, but it is so good. i don't even like desserts usually. their desserts are definitely some of the weirdest around. the entire menu is full of stuff that makes me scratch my head and wonder.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rabidog
                    Steve RE: rabidog Mar 17, 2009 09:32 PM

                    If you go to Myanmar (the restaurant in Falls Church), definitely do a search on the DC board for recs. Nothing they serve is like Thai food.

                  2. b
                    berbadeerface RE: Steve Mar 18, 2009 08:24 AM

                    You must order the spicy fried lentil fritter appetizer. And also the tea leaf salad. Job done!

                    1. p
                      PhillyA RE: Steve Mar 18, 2009 10:18 AM

                      I like everything at Rangoon but a few things I always go back to...

                      The Coconut Galanga soup (be warned, NOT like thai tom kha, it's much thicker & sweeter).

                      The Jungle Chicken (also rather sweet, which I know some people don't like). I NEVER think anything is hot, but when I requested a lot of extra heat on this, they did a nice job with it.

                      The thousand layer bread is, as everyone has said, amazing.

                      1. s
                        Steve RE: Steve Mar 22, 2009 09:13 AM

                        Thanks everyone for your recommendations. I had a flat-out terrific meal at Rangoon.

                        I started with the Thousand Layer Bread with the Curry Potato Dip. This is a basic fry bread served hot and oily with a pitch perfect bowl of potato curry. Nothing could be more delicious.

                        I then went on to the ginger salad. The portion is about three times larger than I expected. It is very similar to my favorite version at Myanmar in the DC area, but a bit too salty. Still, a very fine dish and an essential food to know about. I left most of it simply because I wanted to try something else.

                        I ordered the tofu jungle curry. Wow. What a great sauce. If this was served in a French restaurant, the chef would be hailed as a genius. I loved the small chunks of hot pepper in this dish. The sweetness of the jungle curry is easily counteracted with a generous squeeze of the fresh quarter lime served on the side. This was a deeply satisfying meal.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Steve
                          rabidog RE: Steve Mar 24, 2009 09:50 AM

                          oooh. i have not had the tofu jungle curry in ages. when i read that i could almost smell it! thanks for reporting back. now i'm curious... who wins the prize, myanmar or rangoon?

                          i'm in DC now, sitting at a bar/cafe thing at the van ness metro stop waiting for my visa, but i don't have the time to make it out to VA to try myanmar restaurant this time. boo, me! my bus had gotten into town late the other day, and my dad talked me into a closer meal at tara thai, and i usually get weak in the knees thinking about their pattaya noodles, so that's where we ended up sunday.

                          1. re: rabidog
                            Steve RE: rabidog Mar 24, 2009 01:55 PM

                            It's hard to say - ginger salad is better at Myanmar. I don't think Myanmar has the thousand layer bread - the bread is not unusual, but the potato curry was perfect and it made for excellent dipping. The jungle curry, while being intensely delicious, does indeed remind me more of Thai food. Nothing with that flavor profile at all at Myanmar.

                            Vive le difference! Next time you're in DC, give me a shout and I can get some folks together to check out Myanmar - the restaurant, not the country. Please tell me how the food compares with the REAL THING when you get back. I am officially jealous.

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