Saturday, February 20, 2021

Burmese Brunch

We wanted something different to eat during our Lunar New Year holiday so we decided to give Club Rangoon a try with their weekend brunch menu. Being always on a look out for nice new restaurants in town, I have been planning to check this place out for a while and what we have seen on the news recently did put Myanmar (or Burma) in front of my mind – hence our visit during the long weekend. 

The restaurant sat conveniently at the junction of Hollywood and Aberdeen Streets up near Soho. I did like the comfortable décor with loads of pictures taken from Burmese streets hanging on the wall. On weekends they serve a special set menu with 12 courses served family style, so essentially it did feel like it’s a tasting menu of sorts, or a Burmese Cuisine 101 course with many of the typical dishes in this part of the region. 

We started with Lahpet Thoke which was prepared with the fermented tea leaves, plus pickled onions, shallots, bell peppers and toasted sesame seeds. I wish there’s more of the namesake tea leaves in there but overall it was tasty with nice crunchy texture, and given this is Lunar New Year the dish did remind me of the classic Lo Hei (the auspicious tossed salad with raw fish and vegetables) that some of us celebrate the festival with. Potato Samosa and Paratha were next – this time they changed their samosa into a spring roll with the same filling, and I love the mashed potatoes with a hint of spices inside the deep-fried spring roll wrapper. I enjoyed the paratha, served like a slice of flatbread pizza with the stewed beans (called Pe Byouk) as filling. Both arrived fresh and crispy straight from the kitchen so that’s all the better. 

The bowl of Mohinga – probably the most well-known dish of Burmese cuisine - was my favorite dish of the afternoon. They scaled back on the fishy flavor of the soup, probably adjusted for local taste, but the soup base was still flavorful with the right thickened texture and a hint of lemongrass. The rice vermicelli was served as short strains and cooked extra soft. On top was a half-boiled egg with the runny yolk, cilantro, and peg gyaw, the crispy fritters that’s the common condiments. 

The main course of roasted sea bream was served with several other dishes served in small bowls along with the bowl of steamed rice. I love the curry dishes, with both the A Mel Thar Hin (with slow-cooked beef cubes) and Wat Thani (the Burmese pork curry) showed different rich flavors and meat slow-cooked for the tender texture. The sauce for the roasted sea bream was nice too with good acidity to show forth, but the fish itself seems to be a bit overcooked and dry. Balachaung and Potato and Egg Curry were the other savory dishes that were served. 

Dessert was another course I like – a generous scoop of Burmese tea icecream served on a bed of roasted banana crumbles, super sweet with a mix of soft and crunchy textures. Always a good idea to start any meal with a champagne, or in this case, a simple, easy-drinking Blanc de Blancs crémant. Also went for the Fernet Hunter cocktail on their free-flow drinks menu – I like the touch of acidity from the calamansi balanced with the chamomile infused syrup and soda. And we got what we wanted – something different in a relaxed setting in the midst of all the festivities and a much-needed holiday break. 

When? February 13 2021
Where? Club Rangoon, 33 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Mohinga 
Drink? Charles Roux Blanc de Blancs Cremant de Bourgogne Brut NV

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