MYANMORE Review of Gringos Chilangos

Charlie Turner

What It Is – Gringos Chilangos essentially translates to ‘White People, People From Mexico City’ in an informal vernacular. The name is fitting since it is owned by a diverse group of friends which include a British manager and a chef from Mexico City. The concept in the kitchen is to recreate the street food from Mexico City using locally sourced meat & vegetables to ensure freshness and affordable prices. You would be hard-pressed to a vendor with tomatillos, oaxacan cheese, habeneros or pozole in Yangon, so GC management has gone through lengths to replicate central Mexican flavours with ingredients that can be found in Myanmar farms. Their tortillas are made in-house using corn native to Southeast Asia. Their ‘habenero’ salsa, in many ways a symbol of the kitchen’s innovative nature, is the result of chefs experimenting with the strongest green chilis in Myanmar until a blend was discovered that replicated the punch of the Mexican staple. Being a seasonal menu, it is hard to say what they will be serving down the road. But for now they specialize in just a few items you would find in Mexico City such as tacos and quesadillas while avoiding burritos and Americanized dishes like burritos.

Atmosphere – The big dark oak-like door on Bo Aung Kyaw Street matches the two-storied, hacienda styled interior. Yellow adobe walls coupled with the dark wood, synonymous with this place, gives the impression of a modern Mexican ranch. Upstairs provides more privacy while the lower-level features a bar and a more open air layout. The central location of GC make it a lunch favourite for professionals in the area while their new cocktails menu and Happy Hour deal should draw a similar crowd for dinner. This place can get pretty raucous on weekend nights and may not be the best for a quiet intimate dinner.

Recommendations – mango micheladaThere are no shortage of drink options here, many of which may not be available in the other Yangon Mexican haunts, the micheladas being a popular choice. Typically, Micheladas are a mix of corona beer and lime juice, with chilli powder and salt on the rim, but GC has a few different versions on their menu. The Michelada Mango (3000 Ks) is highly recommended if you want a drink that smacks you awake with spice and citrus rather than the bite from booze. You can sample these drinks, as well as new cocktails, for their Happy Hour launch party on Saturday, 28th May – all drinks half off.

The tacos are their bread & butter (not sure about the Mexican equivalent of this idiom) and your table should get at least one order to share. They come in threes, or as singles, and can be great vessels for the several homemade salsas which are served with chips at the beginning of the meal. The Carnitas tacos are said to be their flagship, pulled pork with onions and cilantro (6000 Ks), but I personally liked the Tinga de Pollo (5000 Ks) which was topped with a tomato and onion marmalade that kept the meat moist and a balanced flavour.


The quesadillas (1500-2000 Ks) are not the flat, circular and cheese stuffed items that some may expect. In fact, these street-food delights aren’t flat at all. The fried corn shells resemble large dumplings, topped with pickled cabbage and a sour cream that comes from Yangon’s own, Annie’s Yogurt. Each self-contained quesadilla are easy to eat, potential for a food truck item, and can be stuffed with a mushroom-vegetarian blend or your choice of meat.


Being Cinco De Mayo, a free shot of tequila and dessert were given to every customer. I’m not a huge sweets person which is why I consider myself lucky to have been gifted their Frutas Borracho, a cup  of fresh strawberries stewed in tequila syrup. After overindulging in chili mixed drinks and potent salsas, the a cool and refreshing dessert was an ideal ending. I may have had the last strawberries so expect mangos or another fruit that is season in your Frutas Borrachos.

Final Thoughts – No one can give me a good answer as to why Mexican has taken off in Yangon. But with 2000 Ks tacos, an innovative kitchen and a trendy interior I could see Gringos Chilangos functioning in most world cities. They have plans to shake up their menu but GC’s willingness to make their own tortillas and salsas all with local ingredients indicate they plan on keeping prices low and their food fresh. GC is a great spot to bring a large group of friends interested in a boozy and family style dinner. Or you can wait for their Happy Hour: 2 for 1 drink deals at Mon-Fri 5:30pm-7:00pm. Starts on 30th May.

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