It wasn’t easy to find but then again I still haven’t grasped Yangon’s street patterns. I was told to ask the taxi for “Pearl Condo”, head down a side street and there nestled within 50 meters from the main road is Cousin’s Grill. An upscale American diner offering steaks, burgers, hotdogs, pasta, mash potatoes and a soon to come, a breakfast of fried chicken with biscuits and gravy, all at mid-range prices.
The patio sits proud and welcoming, offering the option to sit outside on a beautiful day with a hamburger or hotdog and a bottled Heineken. We opt to sit inside at a booth with a giant slab of a table, noticing how clean it is. Next to us one of the owners talks with his patrons effortlessly flowing from English to Myanmar language, back to English in true bilingual, family style conversation.
Rich, one of the cousin’s who opened Cousin’s Grill in December, introduces himself and unknowingly raises my expectations of his food beyond a reasonable level; He was raised in the San Joaquin Valley of California. I know the area and the people quite well and these unknown farmlands of California take a rightly-deserved pride for their BBQ techniques, Mexi-Cali food and country-style meals. It really is unfair for any competition serving American food in Yangon because the people from this area in California KNOW American soul food. Looking through their food selection, I see the exact item to test this stigma: a Mexi-Cali style pork burrito. To test the other end of the menu, a Filet Mignon is ordered after watching Rich’s excitement in just talking about how they cook up their steak.
Not a bite of disappointment. The homemade tortilla was pretty much perfect and they even toss in avocado with the proper mix of diced salsa fixings mixed in. Finally, a restaurant that stays true to the proper ingredients and preparation of a burrito and doesn’t cut corners or use cheaper substitutes, all at an extremely reasonable K4500. We dig into the Filet Mignon and again find full satisfaction. Myanmar Beef cooked with American technique does wonders for the palate. With so many other items on the menu waiting to be tried, and the fact they’re about to start opening for breakfast, Cousin’s Grill is going to have a lot of repeat customers and is a must try for those who haven’t had the pleasure.
Type of food: American Diner (western)
Opening hours: 12PM – 10PM (will soon add breakfast)
Address: No. 28A Kokine Swimming Pool St,
Sayar San Road, Bahan
Telephone: 01 546 633