It’s always a pleasure to see the Yangon restaurant scene develop, and witness how traditional flavours of Burmese cuisine are celebrated in more sophisticated ways.
Asia House joins the growing number of restaurants which have brought style and finesse to Burmese traditional dishes.
Visually stunning, Asia House is located in an old colonial ex-clinic. The plaster has been stripped off the walls to reveal the original bricks, which have been left untouched and are now part of the restaurant. The design is modern, Asian inspired with wonderful feminine touches which add colour and life.
Nonetheless, the atmosphere is casual, perfect for date night or a catch up with friends. The staff is attentive and organised. The soft opening menu is inspired by both Burmese and Thai cuisine, offering a wide range of curries, rice and noodle dishes, vegetable dishes, salads, BBQ dishes and soups.
The Asia House cocktails are quirky, and celebrate the spices and flavours found in Asian food. The fragrant Tom Yum cocktail (4,500MMK) – rum, lemongrass, chilli, ginger – was a pleasant discovery, as was the Spicy Mango (5,000MMK), a dreamy mango margarita with a pleasant spicy kick to it. They also offer wonderful mocktails, like the Sour Plum Fizz (3,000MMK), an invigorating and perfectly sour sparkling drink, which is inspired by the ever so loved dried sour plums.
The portions are generous, and thus I was glad to have brought my ever-hungry teenage brother along. He is a pig ear aficionado, and gobbled up the entire plate of Deep Fried Pig Ear (5,000MMK), vowing it was some of the best he has had in Yangon. Even though it came with a side of ketchup, he refused to touch it claiming it would ruin such a nice balance of flavour.
The grated green apple, cherry tomatoes and raw prawns of the Raw Prawn Salad (6,000MMK) perfectly complemented each other, creating a refreshing and tangy dish, although I was a little disappointed to be find it only had a slight tingle of spice, perhaps the heat level had been toned down to suit less accustomed palates.
I enjoyed the Burmese Prawn Curry (8,000 MMK) served with huge prawns, cooked to juicy perfection, yet the star dish of the evening was the Spicy Bulgogi Ribs (8,000MMK). The meaty ribs were succulent and melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a sweet and salty glaze, although we devoured them I couldn’t help but think: where was the ‘spicy’ element?
Although we were stuffed, we ordered dessert, the Mango Sticky Rice with Coconut Ice-cream (4,000MMK) was delicious, an innovative take on the traditional dessert, with chunks of fried coconut shavings and peanuts, which paired perfectly with the ice cream and the mango.
I will be back at Asia House, I enjoyed their take on traditional food using fresh ingredients, and I am excited to see what their full menu will have to offer. A word of advice: don’t be afraid to turn up the heat!
Address: 99/101, Phone Gyi Street, Lanmadaw Township, Yangon, Myanmar