126 Edds Lane Sterling, VA
According to Wikipedia “Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar, is the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia.” Burma is bordered by countries with major culinary traditions, including India, China, and Thailand. I like Thai, Chinese and Indian foods so how could I have missed Burmese food? How come the only time I hear about Burma in the media, it is about Burmese military junta and not about their beautiful culture and food? I hope to change this as I just found out about this great Burmese restaurant called “A Taste of Burma” in Sterling.
We were greeted by a very friendly owner, Jona Nila Davis. The interior of the restaurant is adorned with beautiful Burmese handmade tapestries called “Kalagas.” Jona also informed us that some of the finely carved tables and lacquer ware that are displayed are from their own family heirlooms. All of the decorations make this place a perfectly cozy Asian restaurant with family and friends. Don’t be overwhelmed with the 100 or so dishes listed in the menu. Just ask Jona for help and she would happily make suggestions.
She suggested we try couple typically Burmese appetizers from the menu, Golden Finger Tempura (By Thee Gyaw) and Fried Yellow Burmese Tofu (Tofu Gyaw). Golden Finger Tempura is crispy fried Opo squash and it is served with chili tamarind sauce. When I eat Tempura, I usually order shrimp, chicken or some sort of meat. Eating fried vegetable tempura was actually very refreshing. I also tried Fried Yellow Burmese Tofu made of chickpeas and served with chili tamarind sauce. This dish is masterfully presented with sliced yellow tofu in the shape of small match boxes. I am not a big Tofu eater, but I know that it is better for me than eating beef, mouton, etc. So now I know that I can live on it if I ever become a vegetarian.
For our main dishes, we ordered Ginger Shrimp and Chicken Curry (Kyat Thar Hin). Ginger Shrimp is a traditional stir fried dish with snow peas, shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts and shrimp in ginger sauce. It is served with white rice and the infusion of ginger into mushrooms and shrimps is invigorating and delectable. Chicken Curry is a simple dish cooked with onion curry sauce and we found it to be lifeless and bland. We don’t know if the cook held off on curry because we looked like we could not handle it, but we did not like it. In the end, we were surprised with two delightful desserts. We were served Cream of Wheat Cake (Shwji) that is mixed with coconut cream, almonds and poppy seeds. It is deliciously textured and sweet. It went great after Ginger Shrimp.The other, Burmese Farluda is a taste and sight you need to experience with rose syrup, milk, ice cream, pudding topped with shredded coconut, far luda noodle and crushed pistachios. Wow! It is rich, flavorful, surprising and wicked all at the same time. I am told that this is one of the most popular desserts in Burma. I can see why.
written by Murat , July 08, 2009