I have a weakness for Penang fried koay teow, which is lighter (in taste, texture & even appearance) than Singapore fried koay teow, but getting good Penang fried koay teow has become an impossibility in recent years here.
Last night, I found a marvellous "new" version of fried koay teow in town - and it's actually Myanmarese! Lightly fried with prawns, eggs, beansprouts, a generous dash of chilli paste & crisp mungbeans, it closely approximated Penang-style fried koay teow.
Inle Myanmar restaurant is located in the basement of Peninsula Plaza, replete with Myanmarese shops & businesses of all ilk, and its clientele is 99% Burmese/Myanmarese
For dinner last night, we also ordered:
- Mohinga, a spicy-sourish noodle soup dish consisting of rice vermicelli, fried fish cake, boiled egg, fried mungbean fritters, sliced young banana stems. The broth was fish-flavoured, with hints of galangal, onions, ginger & ngapi (fish paste). In fact, it tasted 80% similar to the famous Penang laksa. Come to think of it, both Penang and erstwhile Burma were British colonies in the 19th/20th century & were close neighbours (separated by independent Siam). Obviously, there must be close trade, cultural, social & even culinary ties between the two places.
- Bitter-gourd & tofu fritters which has a tempura-like crust which shatters at the slightest bite;
- two types of curry: one chicken, the other pork. Both curries tasted quite close, so I'd recommend ordering one or the other the next time. Both exhibited Indian influences, with sweetish undertones - reminiscent of Bengali-style curries in Dhaka/Kolkata;
- a strange fermented tea-leaves salad, which is very much an acquired taste.
Dessert was an ultra-rich shaved ice concoction filled with multi-colored jelly cubes, beans, corn, nuts, all drenched in psychedelic syrup & coconut creme. Seems like every South-East Asian country has a version of this dessert: Malaysian/Singaporean ice-kachang, Filipino halo-halo, Indonesian es campur/es teller; Thai nam kang sai (my childhood favorite).