Lebuh Pudu in KL's old downtown (between Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin & Jalan Tun H S Lee is the city's Little Myanmar district. There are officially about 270,000 Burmese migrant-workers in Malaysia, many of them in Kuala Lumpur. On weekends, the streets around Lebuh Pudu would be teeming with the Burmese, cheek-by-jowl with Nepali, Bangladeshi & Indonesian migrant-wokers numbering in the tens of thousands as they take advantage of their day off to socialise, shop and eat out.
I was at Myanmar Ywar eatery at Lebuh Pudu today to have a taste of Myanmar's national dish: "Mohinga", a delicious laksa-like rice noodle dish, essentially smooth, fresh rice vermicelli smothered with a fish-based thick soup heavily-flavored with slivers of ehat's described as the "heart of banana trunk" (the banana stem actually, with a squash-like texture), lemongrass, turmeric, onions & garlic, and garnished with chopped parsley & crisp chickpea fritters ("akyaw").
Dessert was "bein mont" - a flat pancake filled with grated coconut-jaggery, and topped with poppy seeds. It was sweet, crisp and tasted familiar to me - the Burmese culture is closer to Malayan culture than the Thais are. Cuisine-wise, Burmese food is about 80% or more similar to Northern Malaysia's cuisine.
Myanmar Ywar, just like the restaurant next door, Shan Taung Dan, is very casual - almost canteen-like. I can imagine how they will be like on weekends, teeming with Burmese customers. Myanmar Ywar is fairly quiet on a weekday like today. There are *no* English or Malay signs - everything was in Burmese. Luckily, I can pronounce Burmese food terms intelligibly enough to get me what I wanted! The "Mohinga" was served lukewarm though, I'd have preferred it piping hot.
I think I much preferred my faqve Burmese restaurant back in Singapore - Inle Restaurant, with proper bilingual Burmese-English menu, bistro-like setting, etc.(http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/519238). Anyway, the Burmese population in Singapore consists of a significant number of students and white-collar workers/professionals, with a smaller number of blue-collar workers thrown in, whereas the Burmese populace in Malaysia are overwhelmingly blue-collar workers.
Myanmar Ywar Restaurant
14 Lebuh Pudu (1st floor)
50500 Kuala Lumpur
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