Nine chowhounds met tonight at Burmese Kitchen (formerly Larkin Express Deli) for Burmese comfort food and good company. Our selections included:
A1. La Pat Dok – Tea Leaf Salad
A7. Tamarind Leaf Salad
A9. Samusas Soup
A12. Fried Golden Tofu
A13. Roti & Potato Curry
N1. Moh Hinga
S5. Rainbow Salad
M12. Pork with Pickled Mango
M13. Sauerkraut Pork
M23. Prawns & Pumpkin
M24. Prawn & Sour Leaf
M27. Dried Shrimp Paste
Young Coconut Gelatin
Rich Semolina Cake
Tapioca with Coconut Milk
The menu with further description of the dishes may be found at: http://www.burmesekitchen.com/Menu.html
I was especially looking forward to the tea leaf salad and samusas soup, both of which had received praise on this board.
My first three tastes were the tea leaf salad, tamarind salad, and rainbow salad. The tea leaf salad was nice and crunchy but didn’t impress me. The tamarind salad had more punch to it—it was very sour. I preferred the rainbow salad, which had just the right balance of noodles and vegetables.
The fried golden tofu was very nice, with an excellent texture. I enjoyed the roti & potato curry but they were pretty standard stuff.
I was expecting something more intense from the mohinga soup. It was fairly plain without much fish taste. The samusas soup had a very nice spicy aftertaste and tingle that stayed with me.
I didn’t get enough of the prawns & pumpkin to form an opinion but no one else seemed impressed with it.
The standout for me was the prawn and sour leaf which had complexity and a nice tang. The pork with pickled mango was also very good—the dried mango made the dish but its flavors don’t much permeate the sauce. My first bites didn’t include any mango and didn’t excite me, then I hit the jackpot with my first dried mango bite. I also liked the sauerkraut pork.
The young coconut gelatin was very refreshing. I liked the semolina cake but it might be too sweet for some.
We had plenty of food for $170 pre-tip. Thank you, Otis for organizing the event.
Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen
452 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102