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Jun 13, 2010 02:15 PM

3rd Annual Burmese Food Fair

What a wonderful event! I got to the Burmese Food Fair in Woodside late, about 3:30 when it was due to end at 4. Some of the dishes were already gone, but what I had was a major treat. I'm vegetarian, and there was still plenty for me to choose from, and I know more of the options included fish and meat.

Why is there no really good Burmese restaurant in New York (that I know of)?

My choices, delicious all, were Yellow Tofu Salad, Somosa Salad with Chickpeas in Spiced Yellow Split Pea Broth, Yellow Split Pea Fritters, and Semolina Cake.

Here's what the full menu looked like:

The event was held in PS 12 in Woodside, with plenty of tables and seating, and a very friendly vibe. I definitely will plan to make it back again next year if at all possible.

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  1. We got there @ 1 and it was rocking full time. The Shan noodles were one of the better versiosn I've had anywhere, including Yangon. Other outstanding dishes were tea leaf salad +coconut noodles. The duck empanada (@ the desert table) was not so good and the samosa salad was al ittle bland. Since it's held indoors, the fritters were all made before hand and thus lost their magical fresh crispnesss. Still, this was one of the better Burmese fest I've been to in the 10 years since I first heard of them.

    1. A rave from me! I think between my boyfriend and I we spent $35 on things to eat there and take home. I'm sorry that I missed the chickpea tofu. Our favorites were the tea leaf salad and the "Puffy Layer Bread with Prome Style Chicken." Studded with mint and red onions is was a wonderful contrast of flavor and textures. We also liked the Samosas with Chickpeas.

      It is truly difficult to find Burmese food in the area, since the closing of Burmese Cafe. Since having a home-cooked Burmese meal years ago I have been looking for this type of food, so I'm especially happy that these fairs are around.

      Did anyone try the desert and what was it like? Also, can someone in the know tell me if this is "the" Burmese food fair--I seem to remember it was normally held on August 16th. I had missed it in past years and this is the first time I made it. Just wondering if there are two fairs or if this is the one?

      8 Replies
      1. re: Mandymac

        There are 2 more fairs! Both pur on by different organizations. In mid July the New Years/Waterfest on Henry St (Manhattan) and in beautiful Briarwood, the lovingly titled Briarwood Baptist Burmese food n fun fair.

        1. re: MOREKASHA

          This is some very good news here!

          1. re: MOREKASHA

            Oh great, thanks for clarifying! Will be a big summer for Burmese food!

            1. re: Mandymac

              didn't make it to this one but indeed, I love the Briarwood one because it's held outdoors in the backyard of a church. glad you had a good time at this Woodside one.

              1. re: bigjeff

                Thanks -- I saw your original post on this one in Woodside, glad you put it on the radar!

                1. re: Mandymac

                  I've enjoyed all of these Burmese food festivals, but this recent one at PS12 in Woodside was the best of all of them. The flavors were vibrant and striking. Sometimes in recent years I haven't been as blown away by the food at Briarwood although it's still quite good and worth a trip. But consider earplugs -- they're always blasting the Burmese rock and pop at 20 gazillion decibels. I also liked the Henry St. event last year but the food at PS12 was even better, and the selection was better. However Henry St. was a much more convenient location for me to successfully encourage a few friends from northern NJ into venturing there.

                  1. re: Ike

                    Do note, though, that the "Henry St. event" -- the Rakhaing Thingyan Burmese New Year Water Festival -- is no longer on Henry St. On Sunday, July 18, 2010, it's being held on the P.S. 9 schoolyard, 100 West 84th St., between Amsterdam and Columbus.

          2. re: Mandymac

            I would have liked to have tried several of the desserts, but only had the semolina cake, which I enjoyed. Mildly sweet rather than syrupy as I thought it could be.

          3. Really enjoyed myself, go there about 1ish, Had the fish noodle soup, fermented tea leaf salad, pork internals, puffy layer bread with prome style chicken, chickpea fritters and Shan Noodles.

            All were really enjoyable although i wish i had got a different second noodle dish as it had a slightly disappointing taste of Bolognese. Wish i had got the pork belly too, the fish noodle soup was probably my favourite of the day.

            i also tried the grass jelly and another desert with rose water and vanilla ice cream. Both were very enjoyable. All in all, a very enjoyable event with a good quality of food. I also enjoyed the Burmesse cover music adding to the ambience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Hasan

              Lots of folks loved the pork belly, didnt have it though.The organizing of this fest was top notch.

            2. We also had fun and raised funds for the orphans back home. Thanks for your support! Hope to see all of you at the food fair next year. For the food lovers, there are three Burmese food events coming this summer:

              New Jersey Burmese Buddhist Temple:
              Place: 63, Gordons Corner Road
              Manalapan/Englishtown, NJ 07726
              Date: June 27, 2010
              Time: 9.00am - 1.00pm
              Tel: (732) 446 1552

              Sixteenth Annual Rakhaing Thingyan
              Burmese New Year Water Festival
              Place: Junior High School 56 courtyard, 220 Henry Street -
              on the corner of Madison Street and Montgomery Street -
              New York, NY 10002.
              Date: 18th July, 2010
              Time: 11am to 4pm
              Admission is FREE.

              Burmese Baptist Church fun fair
              Place - 143-55 84th Drive
              Briarwood, NY 11435
              (Former Place of MBC-NY)
              Date - August 14, 2010 (Saturday)
              Time - 12 : 00 Noon - 6 : 00 PM

              3 Replies
              1. re: Nyi

                It looks like this Sunday's event has had a location change, to the Upper West Side:

                Sixteenth Annual Rakhaing Thingyan
                Burmese New Year Water Festival
                Date: 18th July, 2010
                Time: 11am to 4pm
                Admission is FREE.
                Time: 11am to 4pm
                Place: PS9 – 100 West 84th Street
                between Columbus Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue

                1. re: round2

                  I can't believe I missed this festival today. Will definitely have to go to the one in Briarwood in August. In the meantime, though, has anyone found a place for Burmese food in Queens? I was told that some of the Thai restaurants serve it, but it sounds like some of them have stopped doing so.

                  1. re: mimir

                    it was hot today! had some noodle soup, some duck noodles and a lot of dessert: fruit drink with sprite, and the pink delicious drink with ice cream, tapioca and other jellies. really good but wow, hot.

                    as to regular source of burmese? been looking really hard; the fusion places I can think of is Excellent Thai in Flushing, but I haven't eaten it. And Yummy House (sp?) in Elmhurst started with burmese, but went sichuan, I believe. Haven't had either, but that's what I heard.