Nowadays, Yangon’s café scene is growing fast and standing out from the crowd is not exactly a piece of cake. Nevertheless, the latest contender to the fierce competition is The Able Café, with a new belief.
Recently opened a week ago in lower Bogalayzay street, The Able is located on the second floor in an old building which will be hard to find on the first visit.
What extraordinary about this place is the entire staff – from servers to chefs – is composed of people with hearing and speech impairments.
Ko Myo Kyaw Thu, a co-founder of the cafe, says he always wanted to do something to help people with physical handicaps and that’s why he decided to start the café with his two compatible friends.
“We have to think about how to make the workplace comfortable for them since they can’t hear you calling. So we have installed an LED light bulb at each table, then you just have to press it to get their attention.”
Another thing you would notice here is the rich collection of books both in Burmese and English languages on the shelves. Myo says he wants to resurrect the coffee-and-book experience from today high-speed Wi-Fi incident. But the place itself is a bit dim to read for overlong and Myo notices this, too.
He mentioned the Head Chef here had an experience working in the kitchen of a fine-dining restaurant in Yangon. The cafe now focuses on Burmses and Thai cuisines. “We are now experimenting different menu, shifting from day to day to find out what are the customers’ favourite dishes.”
I tried the Rice Salad (3,500 Kyats) that comes with pork cuts dipped in dressing sauce. The taste is satisfying but it would be better if it comes in a bowl – easier to mix all the in4gredients. The Seaweed Salad (3,000 Kyats) is an average rate. Both meals are generous in portion, and the Mango Juice (2,500 Kyats) has genuine, sugar-free sweetness of mango and is really delightful!
Myo says his plans for expanding to the upstairs, offering halal-certified meat and of course installing a brighter interior lighting system to attract more readers.
“Now I’m learning sign language, and customers can learn for free, too. We have a teacher.”
If you’re a quick learner, you may one day be able to make orders in sign language rather than point at the items on the menu – or even make jokes with the staff about your unsuspecting friends.
No (58), first floor (left), Bogalayzay Street (Lower block), Botahtaung Tsp, Yangon
09 963 034 495
11am – 8pm