Gurgaonwalas are caught in a whirlwind of cult-edged dining venues at Cyber Hub. Whenever a new debutant takes the spotlight, we hear about it from bloggers, #Foodstagram, and the old school word of mouth. Burma Burma was no different in that respect, so when I decided to give it a try, I thought I had a fair idea what to expect. It still managed to sneak in a surprise punch or two.

Burma Burma has taken inspiration from the South East Asian country.
Burma Burma has taken inspiration from the South East Asian country.

First Things First

A Burmese-cuisine rookie, I had nothing to compare the experience with. The restaurant, much like the Mumbai branch, draws a lot from Myanmar. Tangible examples are giant rectangular bells dangling from the ceiling, tattoo needles framed on the walls, tattoo art murals, and a display of Burmese artefacts, dolls, and handicrafts at the tea bar. The restaurant serves traditional home-cooked food that founder Ankit Gupta has grown up eating. His mother, who was brought up in the South East Asian nation, has trained the chefs and passed on her recipes. His partner in this venture and childhood friend, Chirag Chajjer, helped bring these flavours to the table—first in Mumbai and then in Gurgaon.

But why a vegetarian restaurant when meats are a part of the local diet? Because they cook in shrimp and fish oil, something Indians aren’t used to. So rather than lose the character of a dish and compromise on authenticity, they gave meats a complete miss.

A Plateful of Burma Burma

In a cutesy wicker basket, sunflower seeds were served on the table just as something to munch on before and in between courses. They are a popular bar snack in Myanmar. An innovative dish that flagged off the evening was Samuza Hincho, which is a tangy, spicy soup with our very own samosa swimming in the bowl. Did you know that Burmese cuisine is influenced by India, China, and Thailand? Thus, a lot many flavours are familiar.

The next starter was Paukse. Think vada pao that looks like a burger, but has mushroom or brown onion and roasted chilly fillings. This was going to be the hero of my dinner until I made the mistake of tasting it with the roasted chilly dip (hot, hot, hot!) that brought tears to my eyes. I gulped down half my Oh No Tamarind mocktail (tamarind and coconut shavings), and at last, the manager brought a few packets of sugar to extinguish the raging fire in my mouth.

Brown Onion And Roasted Chilly Steamed Buns at Burma Burma.
Brown Onion And Roasted Chilly Steamed Buns at Burma Burma.

I am hardly a salad person, but the salad platter with Mandalay Laphet Thoke (tea leaf salad), Sayukthee Thoke (grapefruit salad), and Tayat Thi Thoke (raw mango salad) was an interesting combination. Mopi Salai (pan fried rice dumplings with papaya salad), on the other hand, had too strong a kick of tamarind, and didn’t make an impression on me. Next to arrive were Pyan Boo Palata—a flavoursome combination of soft, flaky paranthas and creamed corn that was simple, yet delicious. I recommend this to anyone planning to visit the restaurant; it’s superb.

By the time the signature dish Oh No Khow Suey was presented on the table, I was full. Perhaps that’s the reason I could only have a spoonful or two of this coconut curry with noodles, but it was also the fact that I had had an overdose of coconut already.

Avacado and Honey Ice Cream makes a dramatic entrance on the table.
Avacado and Honey Ice Cream are presented with a touch of drama.

Nothing stopped me from devouring the Avocado and Honey Ice Cream that made a dramatic entrance in a puff of smoke from the dry ice. The coconut milk-based dessert, Shway Aye or Heart Cooler, with sweet bread, coconut jelly, and lotus seeds was quite nice too, even though it was another coconut dish.

Since Burma Burma has a 10-page collection of teas, it made sense to end the dinner with a soothing cup. I have to say that if for nothing else, I’ll come back again to try their different types of teas and steamed buns.

I was one of the early diners that Monday evening, but all through dinner, a string of office goers, couples, and even families strolled in. Burma Burma is still a novelty, but it’s easy to tell that they have wiggled their way in, made a crack in the armour, and earned their place in the tough, competitive world of specialty restaurants at Cyber Hub.

Tattoo art at Burma Burma.
Tattoo art at Burma Burma.

 What I liked:

  • Quirky décor
  • Happy entourage of staff
  • Steamed buns with mushroom fillings and samusa soup are memorable
  • The wonderfully curated long tea menu

What I didn’t like:

  • An overdose of tamarind and coconut

Verdict

A definite try if you can give alcohol and meats a miss. The menu lets you discover some dishes you may be familiar with in Burmese cuisine, and many others that you may not have tried before. And, you’ll find out a thing or two about Myanmar.

Details

Cost for two: Rs 2,000

Address: DLF Cyber Hub, Shop No-6, Building No- 8, Tower- C, Ground Floor, DLF Cyber City, Phase-3, Gurgaon; +91-124/4372999

—Apeksha Bhateja