Ye Yint Nann Taw Myanmar Restaurant, Peninsula Shopping Centre: A glimpse into Burmese cooking

Burmese cuisine can be thought of as the lesser-known sibling of Southeast Asian cooking, with others such as Vietnamese and Thai often stealing the show. I actually chanced upon Ye Yint Nann Taw Myanmar Restaurant when I was looking for the long-lauded Makanan Bollywood at Peninsula Shopping Centre, but came to realise that the Burmese eatery has since taken its place.

I can’t say I’m very much acquainted with Burmese cooking, but my two-week stay in its neighbouring country Laos taught me much about the food preparation methods in the region. Stews and rice are heavily emphasised, with avid use of pork bits and eggs in many of their dishes. On my community service trip at Ban Latkhamoun, Oudomxay Province, I spent a good amount of my time cooking with the locals; when I wasn’t laying cement or teaching children to play the ukulele, that is. I remember them using an alarming amount of MSG—to the point where day after day, every meal began to melt into one, all bearing that same one-note profile.

So I’ll admit I’m a tiny bit sceptical walking into Ye Yint Nann Taw Myanmar Restaurant, but I’m hoping to be proven wrong in the best way.

What I tried

A plate of nasi biryani

Seeing as I initially came here in hopes of getting my biryani fix, the Nasi Briyani (S$7) is naturally one of my first orders, though it’s quite a surprising find on the menu. It’s everything a biryani promises to be—a generous bed of seasoned basmati rice, a curried chicken leg, and shallots on the side to garnish.

Upon deeper research, I learn that the Dan Bauk, a Burmese-style biryani, often comprises mango pickle, sliced onions, and cucumbers, as well as fermented limes and lemons, on top of the usual chicken or mutton as protein. Today’s plate, however, takes more of an Indian route, staying true to the classic biryani we’ve come to know and love in Singapore.

Close up of nasi biryani

At best, it’s a decent plate of biryani with a perfumed fragrance, but nothing that will knock your socks off. By nature of the dish being so flavourful and rich already, mediocrity isn’t at all hard to achieve.

A bowl of kyay oh, myanmese noodle dish

Kyay Oh (S$7) is a Burmese noodle dish typically served with vermicelli noodles, meatballs, and eggs in a broth. But today’s dry version presents noodles, bak choy, a quail’s egg, and pig’s organs tossed in a garlicky, umami dressing.

All would’ve been peachy if not for just how incredibly salty the bowl was (cue wartime flashbacks of fistfuls of MSG being thrown into the cooking pot back in Laos). Prominent pangs of garlic are always welcome in my books, but it’s just too hard to ignore the chock-full of saltiness with each bite.

A pulling shot of kyay oh noodles

The dubious chunks of pig organs in the bowl also do little to reassure my suspicious lil’ heart, and I end up abandoning most of them as I go. The kyay oh is a promising dish that I really wanted to like and would’ve made it on my ‘to return’ list if they’d just taken down the salt by about three notches. Though perhaps, if you’re opting for the soup version, the broth just might come to your rescue, for all you know.

A close up of the Myanmar milk tea

Honouring my self-bestowed title of the princess of milk tea, I jump at the chance to give the Ice Myanmar Milk Tea (S$3) a go, though I already might have an idea of how it’d turn out.

And lo and behold, it’s exactly how you’d think a Burmese iteration of milk tea would taste. Extremely milky, right off the bat, the milk-to-tea balance is already disproportionate.

Unsurprisingly, it comes across as intensely sweet, very much like a teh ping on steroids. There’s the option to add pearls for S$0.50 to all beverages, but looking at the track record, I’m a little nervous to find out what these pearls taste like.

A close up of myanmese pickled tea leaf rice

I don’t exactly know what I was expecting when I ordered the Pickled Tea Leaf Rice (S$6), but it was a decision made for the sake of trying unique menu items that I thought best represented the cuisine.

“I’m still deciding how I feel about this,” contemplates my dining partner as he’s well into his second scoop. And after taking my first bite, I know exactly what he means. Possessing a medley of earthy yet piquant flavours, the rice dish walks the fine line of strange and intriguing.

Think of it as a more intense version of lei cha, or thunder tea rice, which is typically known to split diners straight into camps. Now, I belong to team lei cha, but this iteration of the tea-infused rice doesn’t sit quite well with me, with flavours that seem to be more confusing than balanced in my humble opinion.

Final thoughts

It’s been a hot minute since I handed out the last ‘Chef’s Kiss Award’, but you must know that I’m withholding it for only the best. As my first brush with Burmese cooking, Ye Yint Nann Taw Myanmar Restaurant demonstrates that the cuisine is often executed in extremes—either very salty or just too sweet.

Perhaps I say all these because my palate is hardly used to the flavour profiles of Burmese dishes, but I wait patiently for the cuisine to prove itself otherwise someday.

Expected damage: S$5 – S$12 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 3 / 5

Ye Yint Nann Taw Myanmar Restaurant

3 Coleman Street, Peninsula Shopping Centre, #B1-06 , Singapore 179804

Our Rating 3/5

Ye Yint Nann Taw Myanmar Restaurant

3 Coleman Street, Peninsula Shopping Centre, #B1-06 , Singapore 179804

Operating Hours: 11am - 9pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 11am - 9pm (Daily)