Gastrology recently indulged in a delicious 8 course banquet at Burma Lane where we were taken on an exciting journey full of new aromas, flavours and exotic ingredients by Executive Chef John McLeay and Head Chef Johan van der Walle.
The venue represents Burma in an eclectic style. The ceilings are adorned with Burmese birdcages and western chandeliers representing the meeting of East and West and the dining room features Burma’s many faces, and that of their elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
The main influences in Burmese cuisine are Chinese, Indian and Thai due to Burma’s bordering neighbours. This has been combined with western influences through colonisation and trade and further diversity added by a myriad of ethnic minorities with unique ingredients and an incredible range of flavours.
Each dish showcased an amalgamation of those flavours - all so familiar yet so different. It was certainly a great introduction to Burmese cuisine.
Lentil and roselle leaf soup
Our dinner began with a delicate and fragrant broth of lentil and roselle leaf.
Scallops with turmeric cauliflower and Kachin tomato relish
The scallop dish was complex but well balanced. The scallops were perfectly seared and bursting with natural sweetness, further enhanced by the subtle coconut creaminess of the turmeric cauliflower. The fruity acidity of Kachin tomato relish introduced further layers of complexity. It was a wonderful dish.
Cured salmon with pickled lime, chilli oil, balachong and sesame
The thick slices of cured salmon were served with pickled lime, chilli oil, balachong and sesame. A modern dish which utilised traditional Burmese ingredients, this dish was notable for the high quality textural fish slices and the interplay between salinity, heat from the chilli oil and acidity courtesy of the pickled lime. It was a simple but moreish dish.
Rakhine style banana flower kale and peanut salad
The Rakhine style banana flower salad of sweet crunchy roasted peanuts garnished with crispy shallots had an intriguing combination of flavours. All the dazzlingly fresh ingredients blended harmoniously, resulting in a clean and bright dish which was thoroughly enjoyable.
Prawns with smoked eggplant, egg and green onion
The eggplant was thoroughly enjoyable. It was a well-conceived dish that took full advantage of the eggplant’s supple flesh. The morsels of smoky eggplant were coated with egg and green onion and went beautifully with the perfectly cooked prawns.
Kachin chicken curry with kipfler and banana trunk
Pork slow-cooked with shredded green-mango, tamarind and shrimp paste
The pork slow-cooked with shredded green-mango, tamarind and shrimp paste was our favourite dish of the night. The dish was enjoyable for its robust and fragrant tamarind and shrimp paste. Together with steamed rice, it was a comforting, addictive dish.
Coconut water tapioca custard, mango sorbet and sesame praline
Our dinner ended on a deliciously sweet note with coconut water tapioca custard, mango sorbet and sesame praline. Bold in flavour, the mellow tapioca custard concoction, together with the crumbly sesame praline matched the vivid mango sorbet to produce a balanced and delectable dessert.
Burma Lane presents a contemporary Australian take on the best of Burma, doing justice to the rich and varied tapestry that makes up this interesting and delicious cuisine.