The Prime Rib is a fancy hipster bolthole serving up steaks, oysters, fine wine and other luxury fare at eye-watering prices on Kabar Aye Pagoda road.
I suspect this is the place oil and gas bros and rich kids come to sit in faux vintage leather director chairs and indulge in 50-dollar steaks with a side of foie gras washed down with imported French ‘vin.’ (Though that shouldn’t necessarily put you off.)
The setting would be described as a hackneyed hipster cliché in many places. But the three-story restaurant with a lofty vibe of bare brick walls and exposed steel girders does feel refreshing in Yangon. The leafy rooftop with padded deck chairs is a welcome addition to the Yangon rooftop scene. The table settings are indulgent – good quality napkins, large wine glasses, and the first butter knife I’ve seen in Yangon for a while.
At the time of my visit, servers outnumbered guests about 10 to one. Unfortunately, none of them displayed the aptitude one would expect from an establishment with only a handful of dishes on the menu for under 10 dollars.
As I was clumsily seated and tried to come to terms with the prices, the server vaguely muttered some good news – happy hour. Two perfectly decent martinis for 3,500 kyats were perhaps the best value part of the meal, although they did take a little while to arrive. Another cost-effective highlight was the complimentary warm ciabatta.
As the name suggests, this is one for the steak-lovers. Prime Rib serves 28-day dry-aged filet, rib eye and porterhouse from Myanmar’s Greenland Farm. It also serves up Myangyu Japanese Wagyu Hybrid in filet rib eye and NY Strip steaks you can choose a ‘marbling score’ of seven, eight, or nine.
The high-scoring Wagyu rib eye will set you back an eye watering 35,000 kyats per 100 grams, but I went for the less indulgent Greenland filet, which had a good depth of flavour, perfect texture and was very well season. The béarnaise sauce could not be faulted but the pepper jus tasted slightly of plastic.
I also forewent luxurious side accompanists of foie gras (20,000 kyats), butter poached lobster tail (23,000 kyats) and seared crab meat with cilantro and chili (12,000 kyats) to sample the spinach with parmesan cream, potato puree, and mushrooms with herbs and butter. All three were delicious, especially the mushrooms which were seared perfectly, and cost just 5,000 kyats a piece.
By the end of the meal, however, I felt the toll of the liberal use of butter, cream, and salt in the dishes and the richness of the beef. It reminded me that I remain a fervent believer that the best dishes are those using fresh, flavour-packed ingredients, cooked simply. This richness, and the price tag, would deter me from returning, though I did enjoy the atmosphere.
For those of you without the desire – or the pay check – for high-quality steaks, oysters, caviar and foie gras but do want to visit, I recommend an evening of happy hour cocktails and rich yet reasonably-priced side dishes.
Address: No 1 A Kabar Aye Pagoda Road Ward 7, Yankin Township
Phone: 09 264 655 551
Opening hours: 10am-11pm