The Bur­man Kitchen

Time Out (Sydney) - - Food & Drink - Ali­son Byrne

THE BUR­MAN KITCHEN, a nar­row store op­po­site the train line in Granville, is set­ting the bar for Burmese food in Syd­ney. You’ll recog­nise a bit of Thai in the citrus, chilli and herbs, some Chi­nese in the stir-fried noo­dles and In­dian in­flu­ences in birya­nis and cur­ries – it shares bor­ders with all your take­away favourites. If there’s a dish that unites the Burmese, it’s mo­hingha. This revered rice noo­dle soup is dense with cooked, shred­ded white fish and a lit­tle flour to thicken the seafood broth. Bolder flavours, mostly from fer­mented fish sauce, are found in ngapi yea, a pun­gent dip that is eaten with a plat­ter of fresh and cooked veg­eta­bles and mint and co­rian­der to counter the strong, salty taste. Some of the cur­ries run mild: try the spicy lamb and split pea curry touched with cumin and co­rian­der to give it warmth, not heat. Pair it with a bowl of but­tered steamed rice, and the over­all ef­fect is sim­i­lar to Per­sian-style braised lamb and rice dishes. The in­flu­ences of Chiang Mai and Yun­nan just a jump over the north­ern Shan State bor­der can’t be ig­nored in this cui­sine. Shan Noo­dles grab Thai moun­tain area flavours in the cold rice noo­dles flecked with red chilli spiced pork mince while the htamin jin – a mix of steamed rice, potato, fish and tomato that looks like a soft arancini ball – makes the best of the rivers and rice ter­races of South­ern China. If you’ve only ever thought of tea as a drink, then the tea leaf salad (lah­pet thohk) gives a whole new twist to a cuppa – soft, soaked fer­mented tea leaves are mixed with halved green toma­toes and given crunch from peanuts, fried broad beans, split peas and bean sprouts.

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