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Sep 12, 2013 11:46 AM

Ruby Burma questions

We are visiting Montreal in October. I have read good things about Ruby Burma and would love to try Burmese cuisine. Are reservations needed for Fri or Sat dinner? Also, is the menu vegetarian friendly? From browsing Naomi Duguid's Burma cookbook, it looks like fish sauce is a common ingredient.

Thanks kindly!

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  1. You mean vegan friendly then? (as some vegetarians often eat fish).

    5 Replies
    1. re: williej

      That's news to me(that vegetarians eat fish). According to Sarah Musgrave in The Montreal Gazette review of June 2013, Ruby Burma is vegetarian friendly. Here's link to the review

      1. re: BLM

        Thanks for the link! I'm really looking forward trying Burmese food.

      2. re: williej

        I am not vegan but vegetarian. I know it's confusing but technically vegetarians who eat fish are not vegetarians but pescetarians.

        Hope that clarifies things.

        1. re: williej

          News to me too. Fish eaters are pescatarians.

          1. re: Shattered

            I loved the food there. Let us know how the dinner went!

        2. I came to Ruby Burma with a group a few weeks ago, so I'll chime in - I loved the food too. The soups and appetizers were especially tasty, and the owners were lovely. Highly recommended.

          1. Had lunch at Ruby Burma the other day with a friend.

            The place was pretty large and there were a lot of space but I would not know how full it gets on Fri or Sat. Its also BYOB and there is a wine store (SAQ) just in front.

            I liked it very much! Its wasn't a gastronomic event and it was one notch below my discovery of restaurants like the Kazu but it was one notch above most other other ones! So, not 5/5, but a solid 4/5!

            Everything we ate were very good, honest, different, mostly a new experience, it wasn't expensive for the quality and the owner was very nice!

            The starters are very vegetarian friendly and there are a few salads which are not only typical of burma but vegetarian to boot.

            If you like new experiences I might also suggest an Indonesian restaurant called Gado Gado which is in the same group (new cuisine from a fresh region of the world well executed for a good price).


            1. i just ate there this week and found, as others did, the welcome warm and the service helpful. Ruby, the owner, was great at putting together a menu of the most wonderful consistencies and tastes--although Burma borders on India, Thailand, Bangladesh and China, the Burmese food we ordered was different from all of these. there is fish sauce in many dishes, but many of them are not only vegetarian, but vegan. the meat in the dishes we ate was never the hightlight. we tried the chickpea entree, the fish chowder, the pickled green tea salad and a typical noodle dish of whichi can't recall the name. it was all delicious and quite delicate tasting. the textures might be my favourite part of this food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rachelfgreen

                I'll chime in too. I'm a pescatarian, but suffice to say any diet (meat eating, vegan, gluten-free etc.) can eat here and have delicious food. The prices are reasonable, the portions are large, and the proprieters are friendly and helpful. If you are a vegan, it would be good to communicate that-they will help you! Love the tea-leave salad, and I had a fish curry that was amazing. Also the apps are so good, I want to keep going back to try more and more. If you've never had Burmese food, I suggest going for the unique and big flavors. Try the Mohinga!

              2. Has anyone eaten here that has also had Burmese in San Francisco and can compare the tea leaf salad?

                6 Replies
                1. re: TeacherFoodie

                  I haven't had tea leaf salad elsewhere, so I can't compare it, but did order it at Ruby Burma, and while looked really hard, I failed to discern any tea leaves at all within the salad. Lots of wilted lettuce, but nothing that even remotely resembled tea leaves. Either I'm really missing something, or I may have been there on a very off night. It was late, cold and raining, we were tired and hungry, and I just didn't feel like questioning anyone about it, but it left a rather bad taste (figuratively, of course).

                  1. re: cherylmtl

                    The tea leaves are fermented and look almost like a dark green paste in the salad. When we returned from our trip to San Francisco we looked everywhere for them as we discovered there was no good place in Toronto for Burmese food. You could order them online but we found a recipe for tea leaf salad where someone made their own fermented tea leaves so we tried it and it was quite good!

                    In Burma the fermenting process is quite interesting. You can look it up on youtube as there is a good video about it. The actually bury the leaves underground for a period of time.

                    I am hoping to come to Montreal in March and can't wait to try Ruby Burma.

                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                      I know what they should look like - but I didn't see or taste anything that remotely resembled that in the salad that I had, which is why I was wondering...

                      1. re: cherylmtl

                        That's strange indeed! You are right - how dare they call it tea leaf salad!

                      2. re: TeacherFoodie

                        There's a Burmese restaurant in Ottawa named Rangoon. The tea leaf salad there is about the same at Ruby Burma.

                        1. re: marblebag

                          I have had the tea leaf salad from Rangoon - it was okay, but nothing like the ones we had in San Francisco. There is also a Burmese restaurant in Niagara Falls, NY called Sun that I've tried and while good, it still doesn't compare to SF tea leaf salad but it will do while I am unable to be in SF!