As you walk into Burma Lane, the high ceilings and prominent artwork of Aung San Suu Kyi give the atmosphere a positive vibe and feeling of freedom. Columns of picture frames are hung against the wall with images and artifacts representing Burmese culture. I went to Burma Lane with my family as a post Christmas dinner. Our choice of restaurant was significant because it was where my Dad was from. Although my dad is no longer with us, it was really special to taste the delicious flavours from his culture that reminded us of his cooking. The Mohingha was a fave. The waiters were friendly and attentive which made dinner at Burma Lane a great experience.
Before we ordered, we were introduced to three condiments to accompany our meals. There was a Burmese style sweet and sour sauce, a chilli relish and Balachan, which was like a dried shrimp mix.
My brother ordered a mocktail called ‘Swami delight’ which was apple, cardamom syrup, agave and indian yoghurt. It was an interesting drink and might I add, delicious.
The entrees were onesies, entrées for one. They’re not for sharing because each entrée is a one piece serving. The Chicken chop chargrilled with ginger, turmeric, lime & chilli was a great starter. It was fresh, delicious and a good canvas to trial each of the condiments on. The Kun Sar Thi was a mixture of chicken, shallot, green mango & Sichuan pepper that you wrap up in a Betel leaf like a taco.
We tried the potato cake. This was no ordinary potato cake, it was filled with spicy slow roasted lamb belly aside a cabbage salad with a dollop of minty yoghurt on top. Heaps yummy. We also had the broad bean fritter with crunchy broad beans & vibrant spinach relish which was like a Burmese inspired falafel.
I liked the five-spice pork belly chunk. It was fried and coated in a curry sauce with chilli, lemongrass and turmeric, which was delicious. The pork belly was a little tough to bite through though. It had a dry, crispy texture.
The noodles we tried were really yummy, we got the flat rice noodles with tofu puffs, spicy coconut broth, greens & beansprouts. The creamy curry sauce with the fresh greens, were delicious. A great vegetarian dish! Plus there was a little debacle where my brother was trying to transport noodles from the sharing plate onto his own plate… SMASH! the plate broke in two. The waiter promptly cleared the mess and arranged another plate of noodles. They replaced the plate and noodles free of charge, which was really nice considering it was our fault. (Can’t take my brother anywhere!)
The rockling was perfectly cooked in turmeric, lemongrass & tomato with vermicelli noodles, mustard greens & egg. This was Burma Lane’s take on a well known Burmese classic, Mohingha. It was a great representation of Burmese food and it’s culture.
For dessert we tried the sago and coconut pudding with fresh coconut & seasonal fruits. This was delicious. With the fluffy pudding top and texture of sago on the bottom it was a real delight. The fruit lifted the flavour. I heart pomegranate!
We tried a scoop of the Jasmine rice ice-cream which was hmm…perplexing. The best way I can describe it is that it tastes like a floral scent. When you eat it, it tastes like a smell. Strange, yet compelling. You want more and more because it is different. It has a distinct flavour of Jasmine. I wouldn’t say it’s delicious but it is definitely worth trying, even just to experience the confusing twist on your senses.
Lastly, we had the semolina cake with brown butter. This was a warm moist cake (like a pudding) which went perfectly with the cold palm sugar ice-cream. It was topped with sticky raisins and toasted almonds, which gave it great texture. Yum, Yum, Yum!
Burma Lane has added a modern twist to Burmese inspired food.
Address: 118 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9615 8500
Trading Hours: Mon-Fri: 12pm-3pm (Lunch), 6pm-late (Dinner) Sat: 6pm-late, Sun: closed