The bar atop Yama Hotel on Bo Myat Htun was, apparently, a fixture of low-cost Yangon watering holes popular among local students with a relaxed vibe. Some old Burma hands had been awaiting its reopening after it closed more than two years ago, missing a rooftop bar on West of downtown. It reopened, as part of a revamp by Yama, last month with a more up-market vibe, offering a decent range of bar snacks, main meals, draft beers and even a few bottles of fancy imported ciders, beers, and wines.
Yama has gone for that standard Yangon urban vibe with the décor. There’s a lot of black metal, some wood, and a substantial amount of greenery. The views are not breathtaking, looking South and West over a non-historic area of downtown with barely a pagoda in sight, but still provide pleasant environs nine floors above the city’s streets. The staff are incredibly enthusiastic and good at communicating.
I took advantage of the bar’s three for two on draft beer (3,500 kyats for a half litre of Kirin) and ordered three plates of bar snacks, which were hit and miss. The highlight was the potato wedges (3,000 kyats)—deliciously crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and served with ketchup. The edamame (3,000 kyats) were overcooked from frozen to the point of being virtually inedible—soggy and a depressing grey colour. The meat on the satay (4,200 kyats) was dry and tough but had a good spice and heat. The satay sauce was creamy, nutty, tangy and almost did enough do elevate the skewers. The menu features other classic bar mains as well as cold cuts and cheese platters—I wasn’t brave enough to see if they were worth the 20,000 kyats investment.
Overall, the Yama rooftop is a good, relatively inexpensive, option for al fresco drinking on that side of downtown and definitely somewhere to consider after eating at one of the nearby restaurants on Maha Bandoola and Bo Myat Htun. Regular punters of its old iteration will be disappointed to discover that the life-size Spiderman mannequin was not retained in the makeover.
MYANMORE restaurant reviews are done independently and published anonymously. Meals and drinks are paid for by the publication.
Address: No.195 Bo Myat Htun Road, Botataung Township, Yangon
Opening Hours: 5:30 pm to 11pm
Telephone: +95 1 203 712