800 Bowls review: ‘Reliably-tasty Chinese food in the heart of downtown’

This reviewer is careful of hyperbole and cautious of overstatement but, in my opinion, 800
Bowls is the best Chinese restaurant in the city. In the year since it opened it has, to my
knowledge, served up reliably authentic and delicious Chinese fare in pleasant surrounds
with good service for a not unreasonable price.

The two-level restaurant is located in Urban Asia Center on Maha Bandoola. The décor is
simple, yet refined and the seats are well-spaced, making the restaurant seem buzzing, but
not crowded. The downstairs features a large open kitchen where you can spy on chefs
pulling handmade noodles or wrapping up dumplings. Upstairs (where it can get a little
stuffy) is extra seating including large banquet style tables.

The menu features a number of classic dishes from Shanghai, Sichuan, and northern regions of China—expect noodles (in soups and out), dumplings, baozi, stir fried meats and
vegetables and a smattering of fried rice.

The restaurant’s xiao long bao (six for 4,000 kyats), those tricky Chinese soup dumplings, are certainly among the city’s finest and are routinely delicious with fragrant, succulent pork, a fragrant broth and chewy yet delicate skin. They also come in cheese and crab flavours. The hand-pulled noodles are the freshest I’ve tasted in Myanmar, with a beautiful wheat flavour and a good bite. On this occasion I tried them with minced meat (4,000 kyats) and cucumber—the East’s (fragrant) version of spaghetti Bolognese.

The Shanghai pork buns are (3,000 kyats) are a good blend of soft, sweet steamed bread,
meaty, juicy pork with a crunchy fried bottom. The stir-fried asparagus (5,000 kyats) comes with chili and onion. Good flavours but perhaps not worth the price tag. I also tried the crispy pork chop (7,000 kyats) which was not as crispy or porky as I remember and is not as good value as the noodle and dumpling dishes.

800 Bowls offers cheapish, authentic, reliably-tasty Chinese food in the heart of downtown,
I suggest you visit.

Address: Asia Business Centre, Corner of Maha Bandoola and 48 th Street, Yangon.
Phone: 09 964 588875
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm

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