Jing Hpaw Myay

ZUZAKAR KALAUNG

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Weekend | Foodreview - Jing Hpaw Myay is lo­cated at 2B Kyun Taw Road, San­chaung town­ship. Reser­va­tions: 01 524 525

DEAR read­ers, your brave re­porter is aware that he has ge­o­graph­i­cal bi­ases in his re­port­ing. He’s a mid­town fel­low through and through and a firm be­liever in old-town aes­thet­ics and stay­ing within a short taxi ride of the ac­tion. While eru­dite, taste­ful and hand­some, your re­viewer is still a re­porter and so, as they say, not ex­actly ‘rolling in it’. Inya Lake holds some few promis­ing lo­ca­tions that we may to­gether ex­plore one day but, at least for the time be­ing, we’re stick­ing with lo­cal favourites where you can stand out the front and lay eyes on Sh­wedagon pagoda.

This week, it’s an old favourite go­ing way back – it’s Jing Hpaw Myay Kachin on Kyun Taw. This smart lit­tle fam­ily es­tab­lish­ment has been feed­ing lo­cals and expats alike for many years and, broadly speak­ing, sat­is­fy­ing ev­ery­one. It’s an eatery your re­porter has been to many times, as well as most peo­ple he knows. San­chaung maybe have been Frenchi­fied in re­cent years but that’s no rea­son to avoid go­ing. Kachin cui­sine ranks pretty high with this food re­viewer on the Myan­mar se­lec­tions (note, it’s not a hi­er­ar­chy) and when this re­porter needs a fix, this is the place he goes. Let’s talk about what’s on the menu.

Dur­ing this out­ing your re­porter or­dered the clas­sic mashed pota­toes, a mixed veg­etable soup, spicy pen­ny­wort gin­ger salad and the bone­less chicken curry.

To start with the chicken curry, it’s a clas­sic and very sim­ple mus­tard-based curry, as most Kachin cur­ries are, served quite moist, tossed through with a lit­tle green­ery for flavour but oth­er­wise minced and un­adorned. This dish prob­a­bly won’t wow any new­com­ers but for sim­ple flavour, it car­ries its own and also mixes well with other plat­ters. It’s pep­pery and, well, it tastes like mus­tard, the pleas­ant­ness of which will de­pend on your palate. This re­porter finds it to be sim­ple and com­fort­ing.

It went es­pe­cially well with the mash potato, which is a restau­rant clas­sic. Kachin mash potato is made with oil in­stead of butter, which doesn’t af­fect the flavour too much but leaves the tex­ture firmer and more ‘raw’ look­ing. It’s very well salted and loaded with tasty gar­lic, it’s pri­mary flavour. It is then sprin­kled with fried shal­lot flakes. This dish is an ab­so­lute favourite and goes well with just about any­thing else on the menu.

When the soup ar­rived, your re­ported noted that it had lots of pep­per in it but oth­er­wise looked sim­ple. It is sim­ple, we could gen­er­ously call it a very healthy op­tion. There is some spinach, greens and car­rot in a thin salty broth. The veg­eta­bles were ac­tu­ally pretty sat­is­fy­ing but there was re­ally no way of get­ting around the fact that the veg­etable soup is leaves in hot salty wa­ter. At least it felt good to eat it.

On to the pen­ny­wort and gin­ger salad, which was rel­a­tively fresh and well pre­sented, but in this writer’s opin­ion, was mod­er­ately good. In fact, a lit­tle too much on the grassy side. If you, dear reader, are tempted to visit, the salad that comes firmly rec­om­mended is the French green bean (or long bean) salad, which is green beans steamed, served with a tasty creamy sauce punc­tu­ated with more fried shal­lot, gar­lic and mus­tard.

If one other dish could be rec­om­mended, it would be the beef tor­nado – an odd lit­tle dish of semi-dried beef, shred­ded, served oily on bam­boo leaves with raw gar­lic. It’s punchy and salty as hell, if you like that flavour, and goes ex­cel­lently with plain white rice. On the rice front, Jing Hpaw Myay of­fers Kachin fried rice and a cou­ple of other pleas­ing eth­nic ren­di­tions.

When you’re done eat­ing, which may take a while due to the small kitchen and oc­ca­sion­ally surly staff, take your­self over the road to the roof of the Vista ho­tel and en­joy the stun­ning views and af­ford­able drinks of Tony’s Love Shack bar. Tony him­self will likely be there, and he loves a chat. There’s of­ten a good vibe to be found there and then you too, ir­ri­tated bougie reader from Yankin, may fall in love with the lo­cal crea­ture com­forts of mid­town.

Pho­tos: Sup­plied

The ir­re­sistable mash.

The beef tor­nado.

Their pri­vate din­ing room.

Pen­ny­wort-gin­ger salad.

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