A new café has opened near the eastern entrance to the Secretariat off Thein Phyu Road, giving visitors a taste of the historic colonial structure.
SY Café is an attractive outdoor venue, fenced off from the Secretariat gardens and building, that offers refreshments and no-frills food.
Coffees and teas hover between 1,500-2,500 kyats, seasonal juices cost 2,000 kyats, and soft drinks are 1,000 kyats—all are subject to 5 percent tax and 10 percent service charge.
There’s also a rotating selection of pastries and basic fare (chicken, rice, eggs) from 1,500 kyats. Customers enjoy the dishes on wooden benches under a bamboo and straw roof.
It’s a shady, quiet spot that belies its location next to a busy road, and somewhere to consider refueling on an exploration of the adjacent weekend book market, or after a visit to the photography exhibition inside the Secretariat (5,000 kyats entrance fee).
As for the Secretariat, it is still a construction site and off-limits without a guided tour from Asia Tours Myanmar. By 2019 the developers hope to restore the 16-acre site of former government offices and gardens into a complex containing museums, galleries, lounges, offices and restaurants.