Fine dining is not a phrase to be applied lightly. To be granted this badge of culinary honor exceptional cuisine and an appropriate atmosphere are only the start. The execution should be fastidious and inspired, allowing the carefully planned details to coalesce into an experience not found elsewhere.
On that note, Water Library, Yangon’s premier fine dining experience, succeeds. Housed in a one hundred year old villa, boasting fifteen months of renovation, it is located on the corner of Pyay Road and Manawharri Road. The restaurant features thirteen ground floor tables, expertly placed for privacy. Upstairs, parties of two to fifteen can be seated in four private rooms, ideal for business or VIP dinners. As a villa, the restaurant maintains an intimate yet upscale feeling. Original artwork by four Thai artists adorns the walls. A uniquely created collection of songs completes the relaxing yet stimulating ambiance.
Choose from an upcoming selection of four hundred unique wines, making Water Library home to Myanmar’s largest wine cellar. The menu, featuring almost all original dishes, ensures that each plate will delight. A dark wood box of fresh bread warmed by hot stones, paired with two types of butter, comes as a complimentary clue of the carefully prepared meal to follow.
Starters include such creations as the US scallop. At the lighter end of the spectrum, featuring sashimi style scallop and compressed cucumber adorned with dill sauce, this appetizer delivers a flavor that is unexpected and delicious. The presentation compliments the cuisine for a look that fits the taste. For rich and savory try the crispy tofu in a foie gras-shitake emulsion.
The main course might say the most about a restaurant. Such dishes as the skin fried Nagpali seabass with veal tongue live up to the standards one would expect from two former chefs of the world renowned Noma. Carefully chosen ingredients add a piquancy that is not easily matched, creating what might best be described as a culinary adventure. The beef cheek will melt in your mouth; hints of celery and parsley form a versatile base of celeriac puree and apricot and truffle jus a sweet overtone.
After a bottle of red wine and the multitude of flavors from dinner, consider refreshing your palette with a glass of champagne. An impressive list fit for any occasion or desire is available. Four mouth-watering deserts await the revitalized diner including such staples as a variation of milk, white and dark Belgian chocolate with peanut coquant or an apple tart tatin with Madagascar vanilla ice cream. Though both are expertly prepared, adding new zest to the tried and true, sample the yoghurt sorbet with white chocolate cream and cucumber and yoghurt meringue to complete the gastronomic success of the rest of the menu.
Come with expectations or come with an open mind. Either way, dining at Water Library Yangon is time well spent. Business or pleasure, this is the new standard of fine dining in Myanmar against which the growing industry will be matched. And even though hand blown glassware from Austria pairs well with the largest wine selection in Myanmar, the pièce de résistance is the indispensable ardor of the staff.
Serving: Lunch, dinner, bar
Pricing: Top end
Category: Modern European, Fine dining, Western
Address: Pyay Road/Manawharri Road intersection, Yangon (see our listing for map)
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Water-Library/53349802244 (Bangkok)
Myanmore Dining Listing: http://myanmore.wpengine.com/yangon/dining-listings/listing/water-library