A hidden gem in Nyaung Shwe
TWO weeks ago, I visited Nyaung Shwe in Southern Shan State for the first time and I wondered what restaurants and bars this small city had to offer. This city is a tourist stop for those making their way up to Inle Lake for trekking.
There were many places to choose from in Nyaung Shwe, but I noticed there weren’t many Indian restaurants in town. When I finally found one, it had just opened in the city. I’ve always liked Indian food.
Ever Light, which opened just one month ago, offers a variety of lunch sets and biryani dishes – an Indian mixed rice dish with meats or vegetables. Bamboo-covered walls and Shan paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling welcome guests to the restaurant. Though the restaurant only has nine tables, Ever Light offers an intimate setting for the adventurous palate.
The menu has six types of biryani to choose from but I decided on fish biryani for K3,500. The restaurant prepares their fish fresh unlike in Yangon biryani shops. I had to wait 10 to 15 minutes before the fish arrived, boneless. I have never tried fish biryani before and the taste was strange to me. I often enjoy chicken or mutton biryani but this biryani cooked with catfish was soft in taste and fragrant in smell.
The second dish I tried was garlic naan (K1,000) and aloo zeera (K1,500). Their naan, Indian flat bread, was a bit thicker than Myanmar naan and sprinkled with chopped garlic and coriander. It was a delicious pairing with the aloo zeera, a typical vegetarian dish made with potatoes and the accompanying tamaraind and mint sauces.
Moving on, I decided to choose a soup out of their five options. I chose daal soup (K1,000) made with chickpeas. The chickpeas are boiled and cooked down ahead of time so by the time the soup arrived to my table, they were soft and retained the rich, savory flavour of chickpeas.
To snack, I ordered aloo tikki (K2,000), which looked delicious in the menu’s photo. Aloo tikki is a mix of boiled potato, onions, ginger, cayenne pepper, coriander, Indian masala spices and bread crumbs. The potatoes are lightly fried in the bread crumbs and the taste is tender, with a little bit of spiciness to wake up the senses.
Though I only tried a few dishes from their extensive menu, I enjoyed dining in this hidden gem. The prices are fair; the food is flavourful; and they even offer local wines such as Aye Tharyar. Trust me; this is a delicious rest stop for those on their way to Inle Lake. Ever Light is open from 9am-11:30pm and located at Kanthar (2) Street, Kanthar quarter –not too far a walk from the jetty.