By: Sondang Grace Sirait
You may not realize it, but the raw food hype is inching closer to Yangon. At Nourish, a plant-based café located just a stone’s throw away from the bustling Yaw Min Gyi area downtown, meat-eschewing diners in Yangon may have finally found a haven.
The brainchild of Jojo Yang and Jerome Sterckx, also the founders of Yangon Yoga House, and vegan chef Tammi Willis, the menu at Nourish spans breakfast, lunch and dinner, though it also boasts a selection of delightful desserts, with gluten-free and sugar-free options.
Their burger (MMK 10,000) had me at first bite. The bean-and-veggie patty was robust in flavor without any aftertaste or pungency whatsoever. Made perfect with a soft bun, lemon mayo, lettuce and tomato, as well as pickles, slaw, Cajun sweet potato crisps and homemade dips, it was a very hearty lunch.
Also worth trying is their Middle Eastern Mezze (MMK 10,000), a platter of baked (not deep-fried!) falafel, hummus, babaganoush, tabbouleh, beetroot muhummara with lavash and tahini dressing.
The ever popular Nourish Quinoa Salad (MMK 8,500) is interpreted as a mix of roasted pumpkin, shredded beetroot, colorful veggies and quinoa lentil on a bed of greens, topped with nuts, seeds and crunchy Fuji apple, with a choice of dressing: lemon vinaigrette, mango chili or honey mustard.
For a quick lunch on the go, an ideal pick would be Veggie Pesto Wrap (MMK 5,000), multi-grain tortilla filled with a colorful assortment of veggies topped with a creamy, tangy combination of pesto and lemon mayo, added with crunchy, toasted seeds. All vegetables are local organic produce.
Like any authentic vegan café, Nourish takes pride in its grain bowls, which is called smoothie bowls here. Think banana, pineapple, coconut and cashew milk base topped with granola, toasted coconut, fresh and dried fruit, nuts, goji berries and mixed seeds at prices that range from MMK 6,000 to MMK 7,500.
For those with a sweet tooth, an assortment of bite-sized desserts keenly awaits, from dark chocolate Florentines to mini cheesecakes. Their bliss balls are a flavorful bunch with a lot of goodness. “Super seeded” bliss balls, for example, are made with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, perilla seeds, poppy seeds and dates.
The prices may be a bit steep, but for such high quality ingredients (not to mention generous portions), you may have done your health a favor.
I’m no bohemian hippie, but I think Nourish might have just won a convert.