Premium tea shops are nothing new. They have served as a refined alternative to roadside shops for decades. While the established places like Lucky Seven and Shwe Palin are going strong, many have come and gone over the years.
Lumbini is the latest addition to this category. It is open for just over a month at The Secretariat but has already become the talk of the town.
I was there around 9 am. It has both indoor and outdoor spaces. Since there was a drizzle, I chose the indoor which was half full even on a weekday.
The menu was heavy with breakfast classics such as Nan Gyi Thoke, Mohinga and Pratha and some international dishes like toast. Dim Sum was also available until 2 pm. I ordered a Mohinga set (Ks4,000) to kickstart a gloomy day with something hot and savoury.
It came just a few minutes later. The set included five toppings: yew char kway (Chinese breadstick), lentil cracker, onion fries, Mandalay style lentil cracker (the black round piece in the photo) and an egg. If you don’t like too many toppings, you can order a smaller Ks2,800 option with your favourite one.
The Mohinga soup was how I liked it — thick and dense with fish, eggs and slices of banana stem core. Opinions can differ since some people prefer thin soup. The vermicelli was minuscule but it was pretty filling because of the toppings. The taste was average overall.
After the meal, I looked for the teapot out of habit. But since this was not a roadside tea shop where the tea was complimentary, I ordered a pot of jasmine tea for Ks1,000.
Then, I chose Blossom Pratha (Ks2,800) and Ceylon tea (Ks2,500). The Pratha was one of their most popular items, so I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about.
The big crispy Pratha was made to resemble a flower. For the pollen and nectar, it had cooked pea and fried onions in the centre. The thin Pratha was crunchy with every bite. The pea was in creamy perfection and the sweet fried onions enhanced the flavour. I could see why it had become Yangonites’ new favourite breakfast. It went pretty well with Ceylon tea which was brimmed with cream.
It was a delightful affair but the experience would be better if they could find a way to get rid of a few flies. The Mohinga was nothing you can’t find at other places but the Pratha and the tea were a great combo.
I saw on Facebook that the place was busy on weekends so a reservation is recommended. Does it mean it has already gained a solid customer base or is it just for novelty’s sake? Only time will tell.
Opposite the BEHS (6), The Secretariat, Anawrahta Road, Yangon
09 880 1800 82
7am – 5pm
02-05, Level 02, Terminal M Leisure Mall, Mingalardon Tsp, Yangon
09 880 1800 83
9am – 7pm