Thursday, September 21, 2017

Taunggyi restaurant offers fresh and tasty Shan food

Among Shan State residents, Thibaw Ma Nan Htay restaurant comes recommended as one of the best places to eat traditional Shan food in Taunggyi. The two-storey establishment in Daisy Street opened two years ago and during my visit it was packed, despite it not even being lunchtime.

Specialties of the house include the Shan versions of hinhtoke (vegetable curry packed in a banana leaf), pork curry and sour rice. I ordered a small dish of noodles (hot and sour) (K500), sour rice (K500), pork curry (K1200), chicken curry (K1200) and mokete (noodles in chicken soup) (K1000).

As locals will know, genuine Shan chicken and pork curries are made with steamed meat and are not at all sour, unlike the variants available in Yangon restaurants. Homesick Shan natives can bring local delicacies back with them – garlic soaked in pure honey, green chilli mixed with garlic, and various kinds of pickled tea are particularly popular.

My order arrived promptly. The noodles were sour, a little salty, and spicy enough to make me sneeze. The chicken and pork curries were sweet and rich, with the meat crushed small and mixed with sticky Shan rice. But I found the pork curry oily and cloying.

The sour taste of Shan rice familiar to Yangon residents derives from tomato paste. But I found the yellow sour rice of Taunggyi, without tomato paste, more delicious, especially when accompanied with fresh garlic and edible herb roots.

My favourite dish was the mokete of sliced meat in a little salty soup, adding chilli and garlic paste to taste.

The small plates I had ordered were ample for two, though the price was slightly higher than that of other local establishments (but lower than Yangon). The atmosphere was calm and peaceful, although without both air-con and Wi-Fi.

Altogether, a great place for a good meal with family and friends if you’re visiting Taunggyi.

Thibaw Ma Nan Htay

195/196 Daisy Street, U Gyi Khang township, Taunggyi, Shan State

Restaurant Rating

Food 7

Beverages 5

Value 8

Service 7

Xfactor 7

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