Kuala Lumpur - Burmese Mohinga Noodles at Little Myanmar
Lebuh Pudu in KL's old downtown (between Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin & Jalan Tun H S Lee is the city's Little Myanmar district. There are officially about 270,000 Burmese migrant-workers in Malaysia, many of them in Kuala Lumpur. On weekends, the streets around Lebuh Pudu would be teeming with the Burmese, cheek-by-jowl with Nepali, Bangladeshi & Indonesian migrant-wokers numbering in the tens of thousands as they take advantage of their day off to socialise, shop and eat out.
I was at Myanmar Ywar eatery at Lebuh Pudu today to have a taste of Myanmar's national dish: "Mohinga", a delicious laksa-like rice noodle dish, essentially smooth, fresh rice vermicelli smothered with a fish-based thick soup heavily-flavored with slivers of ehat's described as the "heart of banana trunk" (the banana stem actually, with a squash-like texture), lemongrass, turmeric, onions & garlic, and garnished with chopped parsley & crisp chickpea fritters ("akyaw").
Dessert was "bein mont" - a flat pancake filled with grated coconut-jaggery, and topped with poppy seeds. It was sweet, crisp and tasted familiar to me - the Burmese culture is closer to Malayan culture than the Thais are. Cuisine-wise, Burmese food is about 80% or more similar to Northern Malaysia's cuisine.
Myanmar Ywar, just like the restaurant next door, Shan Taung Dan, is very casual - almost canteen-like. I can imagine how they will be like on weekends, teeming with Burmese customers. Myanmar Ywar is fairly quiet on a weekday like today. There are *no* English or Malay signs - everything was in Burmese. Luckily, I can pronounce Burmese food terms intelligibly enough to get me what I wanted! The "Mohinga" was served lukewarm though, I'd have preferred it piping hot.
I think I much preferred my faqve Burmese restaurant back in Singapore - Inle Restaurant, with proper bilingual Burmese-English menu, bistro-like setting, etc.(http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/519238). Anyway, the Burmese population in Singapore consists of a significant number of students and white-collar workers/professionals, with a smaller number of blue-collar workers thrown in, whereas the Burmese populace in Malaysia are overwhelmingly blue-collar workers.
Myanmar Ywar Restaurant
14 Lebuh Pudu (1st floor
)50500 Kuala Lumpur
Interesting. Right around the corner from The Khukri, too.
There's a Burmese restaurant (Kimu) here in Indy in the far, far southside (Greenwood) of the city; I've been meaning to try it.
BTW, what about "The Gurkhas Restaurant" at 26 Jln Tun Tan Siew Sin? http://www.thegurkhas.com.my/
(BTW to stop the damn music scroll down all the way to the bottom of the page, there is a small "stop music" button there. Took me a minute to find it.)
There is also a Little Myanmar at Komtar in Penang with a profusion of Burmese eateries. I've not tried any of them yet but some friends who did said they liked the food. Many Burmese settled in Penang in the late 19th century and early 20th century, that's why we have Burmah Road, Rangoon Road, Mandalay Road, Irrawady Road, Salween Road, Moulmein Close etc in Penang.
Ironically, my favourite eating spot along Burmah Road is the Mee Goreng stall at the junction with Bangkok Lane:- Mahboob's mee goreng which he inherited from his father and had been there for nearly 80 years is incomparable. Mahboob may look like your average Mamak, but he speaks Hokkien better than most Chinese!