Business lunch at Yangon’s Rose Garden

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Carrot cake at the Rose Garden Hotel. (Photos by Myanmore)

Yangon’s Rose Garden is doing its bit for the waistlines of the city’s businesspeople with its new superfood business lunch. Monday to Friday there’s a different light and healthy salad, main, and dessert on offer. Two courses for US$11, three courses US$14. Rose Garden’s foyer bistro is perfect for a business meeting; large well-spaced tables overlook the hotels unfathomably spacious lobby. The food arrives swiftly but there’s free Wi-Fi and decent coffee should you wish to linger.

The menu focuses on light dishes using fresh, locally-grown ingredients that won’t leave you feeling weighed down and sluggish once back to your desk. The incorporation of “superfoods” should “increase energy and vitality, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure and may help to prevent or fight cancer and other diseases.” Saying that, the first thing I dived into was the bread basket—homemade rolls and mini baguettes were served with a delicious herby butter and two tapenades: tomatoes sundried in house and olive.

We tried three of the starters. The carrot and ginger soup was light with strong ginger notes. Rose Garden have gone for a little bit of tableside drama by pouring the soup over a large bread tweel topped with thin slices of dried ginger. The rocket salad came with a sweet dressing of honey, olive oil and home-made yoghurt. The tomatoes, both big and small, were succulent and fresh while the sprinkling of pumpkin seeds gave a good bite. The fresh orange salad was served with a homemade orange mayonnaise, walnuts, and locally-grown gooseberries. Be prepared for the salads to be on the “bijous” side.

For mains, the fresh (not frozen) Norwegian salmon comes with a delicious pistachio crust. It’s served with creamy sweet potato mash, buttery and juicy asparagus and a punchy tomato concasse. The roasted chicken is somewhat of a fusion dish. It’s served with an aromatic gravy infused with thyme and rosemary flavours from the roasting dish on a bed of brown rice fricassee with cream, carrot, and shallots. The Shan state brown rice has a healthy bite. The grain-fed beef tenderloin is pushing the boundaries of a light lunch. The beef itself was incredibly meaty and tender and as a good a steak as you can get for the price in Yangon. The Shan potato smashed with garlic and olive is a lighter take on a buttery creamy mash. Chef Myo Min Soe Oo’s gravy was inspired, he adds fresh raspberry to a slow-cooked beef bone glaze.

The desserts were also a treat, the sweet potato chocolate pudding was like a mousse without the cream and butter. The banana yoghurt mousse came with three layers—a banana and honey gelatin, a frozen yoghurt and cream cheese layer, and a light sponge. The caramelized bananas were a good addition and sealed the conviction that you get a lot for your buck with this quality business lunch.

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