2019 MYANMORE Awards Winner – Restaurant of the Year – ORNG Kitchen.
The last twelve months have been an extraordinary time for Orng Joitamoi the owner and Head Chef of Orng Kitchen. At the start of last year, he relocated to his rather splendid open-air restaurant at 7 mile, giving up his ‘baby’, the little downtown restaurant where he first established himself. He refined his menu, tightened up his front of house, built a talented and reliable kitchen team, and developed his comprehensive and well-priced wine list. He expanded his customer base, introducing his French fine dining cuisine to a wider audience, and he is in huge demand to provide his services to a number of high profile customers.
He set up a kitchen garden where he has space to grow his own fruits and vegetables, next to the private lake where his ducks are free to roam without fear of ending up in the pot. And despite the economic climate, Orng Kitchen restaurant is rarely quiet whatever day of the week it is. Oh, and he also won the 2018 MYANMORE Chef of the Year Award. What an incredible year it has been for him.
Orng kitchen is something of an anomaly in Yangon, in that it serves exceptional French cuisine cooked to a Michelin star standard, in a delightful location, with white linen table cloths, starched napkins and smart service, yet you can sample his 5-course tasting menu for only 45,000 kyats. With very few expensively imported ingredients, Chef Orng is able to keep his costs down, but that doesn’t mean he compromises in quality.
Chef Orng prides himself on the seasonality of his menu, and he hand selects every component of every dish. Almost 100% of the ingredients that Chef Orng uses in his innovative creations are locally sourced, many are grown on site, many are specially selected from individual farmers based on their organic approach to farming and consistency of their produce, and a number are harvested from his family’s farm in Mon state.
In all the excitement of him winning the Chef of the Year award last year, it is easily forgotten that he was also a runner up in the KBZ Entrepreneur of the Year award too. As exciting and important as the Chef of the Year award was, his dedication to improving his business, and the time and hard work, blood sweat and tears he has invested into every element of his restaurant is the justification of that runner up spot, and this is evident in the success and growth of Orng Kitchen.
If you’ve been to Orng Kitchen, then you’ll fully understand why it is a worthy winner of this years MYANMORE Dining and Nightlife Restaurant of the year award. Although it could be described quite accurately as a “hidden gem” due to its location in the back streets of 7 mile. The problematic traffic and the U-turns and uncertainty faced by first-time visitors quickly pales into insignificance as soon as you are settled in the restaurant. As the perfectly presented dishes are efficiently delivered to your table the trials and tribulations of your journey are but a vague memory.
Under the watchful eye of Chef Orng from his open plan kitchen, he oversees every dish and every guest at every table in the restaurant, you are treated to a gastronomic experience of the highest order, and one that you will be hard pushed to beat.
Congratulations on your award Chef, let’s hope 2019 is an even better year than last!