The newly opened five-star hotel Pan Pacific connected to Junction City in downtown Yangon has launched Saan, a classy addition to the city’s fairly cramped buffet scene. Days before its official opening on Friday, December 8, Myanmore was invited to sample some of the dishes and chat with Tony Choo, the chef behind the establishment.
“Everywhere you go there is a lot of fancy food – like molecular fusion,” says the 56-year-old Singaporean. “All of this will not last. I’m going back to basics, comfort food, quality.”
Choo is a celebrated chef in his homeland, the author of two cookbooks and a favourite among the island’s leaders and celebrities. He has made it a point to train local chefs for Saan (‘rice grain’ in Myanmar language) including the Myanmar sous chef.
But the focus is not completely on the food. Saan staff tout the vista from the floor-to-ceiling windows of Holy Trinity Cathedral and Shwedagon Pagoda.
It’s a view to be enjoyed both day and night while delving into the buffet, a broad scope that includes roast beef, Peking duck, pastas, grilled fish and sushi. Indeed, the seafood game is strong, with a huge icy pool of cooked lobster, mussel and crab.
The dessert corner is packed with addictive fun-size cakes including crème brulee and tarts of viscous chocolate that glimmer like oil slicks. Be warned, however, there is a cheese-shaped hole in the offerings.
“We are figuring out what guests want,” says Choo, who has been in the industry for over 40 years. “The European market will like cheese but a lot of Asians won’t appreciate it. We have to find the balance for our clientele.”
Because of the superb location, “we will capture not only the local market but also the tourists,” added Choo.
The breakfast buffet including juice, coffee and tea costs US$22, lunch costs $38 and dinner including free flow wine and champagne costs $45. A la carte is also available.
Address: Corner of Bogyoke Aung San Road and Shwe Dagon Pagoda Road, Pabedan Township, Yangon
Phone: 01 925 3810