Lephet thoke, or tea leaf salad–a brightly seasoned party-on-a-plate of fermented green tea, nuts, bean sprouts, and more–is a must-try at Jackson Heights’ promising new Burmese Cafe. It’s crunchy/smooth, dry/oily, fresh, surprising, and irresistible, says Peter Cuce.
Other winners: sour pork curry, chile-spiked fish cake salad, crispy squash fritters with sprightly sambal, and a rich, gingery duck soup, punched up by tangy pickled greens. The menu also offers Burmese-style Chinese dishes that include a stir-fried fish curry authentically redolent of garlic, onion, and chile, reports marachino–but also undistinguished kung pao chicken.
Prices are gentle, service exceptionally friendly. “Everything had a unique, different taste. I’m so glad about this new addition to the neighborhood!” writes welle.
In a city where good Burmese food is scarce, this place could be big news if it fulfills its potential. Burmese hound juhlee, who approves of the tea salad and fish curry–but is unmoved by mohinga (fish noodle soup) and coconut chicken noodle soup–ranks Burmese Cafe slightly ahead of Manhattan’s Village Mingala. “It does seem promising, and I would return to try other dishes since the options for Burmese food in New York are limited.”
Village Mingala [East Village]
21 E. 7th St., between 2nd and 3rd Aves., Manhattan