I really enjoy strolling along Tras Street. From what used to be a pretty run-down area, it has been transformed into a stylish alley that’s home to several Michelin Guide restaurants and exciting up-and-comers. Burma Social is the latest thrilling addition hoping to emulate that success.
At the heart of this restaurant is the ‘social’ element; it is a bridge linking cultures and kingdoms, 6 to be precise. Billed as the Feast of Six Kingdoms, Burma Social is a contemporary twist of influences from the 5 lands with which Myanmar shares a geographical boundary as well as millennia of heritage. They are China, Thailand, India, Laos, and Bangladesh.
With such an eminently diverse range of cuisines as influences, I could only imagine the spread of delights that awaited me. Spread over 3 floors, it takes you through altitudes of food, from exciting street fare to regal banquets.
What I tried at Burma Social
With that understanding of the concept behind Burma Social, we stepped inside, ready to indulge in the Feast of Six Kingdoms.
What a start it was with the salad, Lahpet Thoke – Tea Leaf Salad (S$18). This turned out to be everyone’s favourite dish! Elaborately constructed of exquisite fermented Burmese tea leaves, it was an amalgam of intriguing tastes and satisfying textures.
Both vegetarian and vegan friendly, it receives a dose of colour from green tomato and oodles of crunch from cabbage, mixed Burmese nuts and Brussel sprouts. There are salty and umami notes from earthy mushrooms, jazzed up with a spritz of lemon juice.
It was the perfect beginning to the evening, especially when paired with drinks. After that ideal introduction, we tucked into the starters.
Our second starter (we were really pigging out) Radiant Spicy Aubergine Fusion – Khyan Thi Kyaw (S$18) is Burmese aubergine flavoured with herbs from Laos herb and fermented sweet soy. A dusting of chilli gives the dish a hearty kick for the spice lovers.
I usually dislike brinjal but this version had just the right texture, devoid of the usual mushiness that I detest. If you’re the same and enjoy the heat from chilli, this is perfect for you.
For my Main, I had Soe Squash Lamb Rack (S$42). The Tasmanian lamb (3 pieces) was cooked well, attaining a level of tenderness and succulence which I enjoyed thoroughly. Its mild, slightly sweet flavour worked well juxtaposed with the Burmese squash curry.
Their use of Burmese mint, fresh lemon and cumin helped to elevate an already enjoyable dish, helped along by the Burmese nuts that complemented the earthy lamb.
I had a little trouble with the Umami Soya Valley (S$32), being someone who can’t handle spice very well. This vegan and vegetarian dish uses soy to emulate minced meat but the major ingredient seemed to me to be chilli. It left me steaming through the ears!
But if you are up for the challenge, you will enjoy their use of bird eye red chilli, soya curls, Burmese basil leaves and umami flavours. This one’s definitely for a fearless palate.
Fortunately for my seared tongue, that dish was followed by the Oh-Noh-Khouk swe (S$32), which turned out to be the mildest dish. It was my second favourite of the night after the amazing Lahpet Thoke – Tea Leaf salad.
Wonderfully smooth and creamy, thanks to the coconut base, it possessed a delectable piquant tang courtesy of the pearl onions. I’d say it’s analogous to a good lemak gravy with springy noodles. Watch out for the red chilli oil, though – it carries considerable heat!
Oh-Noh-Khouk swe is made with kanom chin noodles and the vegetable soup is sweetened with sous vide prawns and barramundi fish cake. Interestingly, the noodles are served dry before the soup is poured over so you can try it both dry and wet. This is normally a vegetarian dish but the non-vegetarian option was served to us as the Chef’s Special for the week.
We were regaled with cocktails as the night progressed. The first was Pepper Fashion from China. Its beer reduction and peppercorn trio syrup piqued my curiosity! The former is used as a sharp and funky alternative to brown sugar. The smoked applewood layers certainly helped, too.
From Laos, we had the Silky Smooth, a Martini garnished with sweet fresh rambutan. The jewel in the crown, is the theatrical addition of a smoke bubble added using a bespoke smoke gun. Wonderful for the visuals!
The Indian contribution came in the form of the Taj Mahal Royale. This slushy twist on the classic piña colada is a refreshing featurette of Burmese and Indian flavours.
Burma Social’s mocktails include the Thai Herb Elixir, which uses curry leaf & makrut lime leaf infused with Burmese tonic. The addition of fresh coconut water and fizz gives it such a delectable taste!
Rounding things off is Sonargaon Spice from Bangladesh. Pink guava juice, lentil and fenugreek syrup, fresh lime and some Thai chilli create a bit of havoc on your palate with their multitude of umami and spicy notes.
A handful of restaurants on Tras Street have received nods from the Michelin Guide. Burma Social has the right address and, hopefully, the accolades will rub off on them, too. If you like your food spicy, I say get yourself down to Burma Social today.
Expected damage: S$30 – S$50 per pax
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Burma Social.
Price: $ $
34 Tras Street, Singapore 079026
34 Tras Street, Singapore 079026