You’ve been saving for a while, and you want to spend BIG. Worry not, a new spot in town, Jame Cheese on Sayar San Road is the first branch in Yangon, coming all the way from South Korea. Cheese? It sounds yum! And pork ribs? Well there is nothing wrong with spoiling yourself with pork ribs that everyone has been talking about. Today, we went there to see if it’s actually worth it or just “about the gram.”
“A culinary breakthrough,” we say as we entered the building with high hopes, expecting a large crowd as it is not unusual for a new restaurant to attract attention (well they caught ours). We were seated on a tacky yellow chair that made us feel almost like a bumblebee, ordered the appetizers with a process of elimination—selecting something new.
A moment later, the waiter approached our empty table bearing a deep fryer basket with Calamari Original (something they recommend us to try). The rings were okay, considering the steep price of 5,000Ks, but the light and crispy batter was well-seasoned, covering the fresh squid. The dip, which enhances the flavour was surprisingly good, it was gone in a flash and left us with a bunch of lonely dip-less squid rings.
As we were struggling to take aesthetically pleasing photos of our rapidly cooling food, the waiter came back with a square wooden bowl of Spicy Salmon Salad (9,800Ks), which comes with a “SPICY” warning. The soft salmon melted on our tongues and the dressing, coating every piece of lettuce and cherry tomatoes, emphasized the explosive flavours of cilantro and the green chilli paste.
An Italian soda Mango Mojito was a poor choice for a drink, too sweet and could not be mixed well. This alcohol-free beverage which costs 3,500MMK, couldn’t justify its price with its mere refreshment factor. Also aboard the Expensive Beverage Ship was the Strawberry Fruit Tea (4,000Ks) with too much syrup that wasn’t soluble and overpowered by the artificial flavour. Next up on our appetizer list was the New Zealand Mussel Gratin (7,500Ks), a delicious coalition of melted store-bought Mozzarella, Panko bread crumbs, and finely chopped dill.
We would say service at James Cheese was fast, considering the food delivery. When the Signature Pork Back Ribs (21,000Ks) arrived, the waiter turned on the induction hotplate sitting mid-table and started vigorously stirring the cheese. Cheese and meat may be an interesting concept but given the amount of meat an average pork rib possesses, it couldn’t be executed as well as we thought. The Bulgogi sauce, something they’ve provided more of, is really nice. The ribs were tender, but it was obvious they weren’t just off the grill. The only cooking that occurred table-side was the preparation of the egg—the rest were just basically reheated. So, if you’re expected an extravagant flambé that will make you “oooh,” and “ahhh,” you’re in for a big surprise. Overall, the Ribs were average, leaning towards the tasty sided, however, the Macaroni was not practised enough and tasted kind of bland. A strong 3 out of 5 for BBQ experience.
With our hunger only slightly fed, we pursued to order dessert. First up was the James Green Tea Ice Cream (3000Ks), or for us, the “Green Tea Accident.” Apart from the apparent heaps of Matcha powder all across our plate, the ice cream tasted perfect—not too sweet, not too bitter. Then we had the James Crepe (4,900Ks), hot from the pan, contrasting with the plastic-tub ice cream drizzled with some orange syrup. However, we do advise to those with a nut allergy to avoid the James Crepe, simply because they like to sprinkle a lot of peanuts.
We were quite literally blown away by the total cost while finishing our meal. A whopping 70K bill, which we thought was a mistake at first. Our opinions aside, we think the James Cheese joint was a great experience that many people could easily bond over. A potential night scene, we appreciate James Cheese for their great hospitality—a cheesy experience indeed.
No.26, Sayar San Road, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar
11 am – 10 pm