Friday, August 18, 2017

Prome City Restaurant

Yay –or Prome City – once existed as a city with a king-and-throne monarchy. One of Myanmar’s many old capitals, Pyay (pronounced ‘Pyee’ and known during colonial times as ‘Prome’) is a quiet, stupa-studded Irrawaddy riverside town, around 290 kilometres north of Yangon – roughly six hours from Yangon.

Prome City’s Pyay Palatha. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar TimesProme City’s Pyay Palatha. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar Times

Although not known for its size, Pyay is famous for its regional food which is known to be very cheap but excellent in taste. But now you don’t need to spend six hours on the road to have a taste.

To fill that gap, the Prome City restaurant – located on the Bo Aung Kyaw Street (next door to Father Office) – is now bringing the delicious regional cuisines of Pyay to Yangonites.

The Prome City restaurant is small and well-decorated, featuring a charming spiral staircase that leads to the restaurant’s attic. Call it either ‘linner’ or ‘dunch’, as we went there around 5 pm. Inside the restaurant, there were only a few customers, including us, since the restaurant opened last month.

Fried rice salad with fried egg. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar TimesFried rice salad with fried egg. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar Times

I had once tasted the most significant Pyay dish, Pyay Palatha (hot chicken chundal with a potato gravy mixture and palatha) at my colleague’s –who was born and raised in Pyay – house. Needless to say, I enjoyed it.

Since we’re knowledgeable about Pyay food, we easily picked out our food under breakfast menu. We ordered Pyay Palatha (K2000), fried rice salad with Myanmar Peas (K2000), Prome City regional salad (K1200), and two side dishes from the Chinese special menu: lime squid salad (K 6000)and prawn with cereal – which is not in the menu list – (K6000).

As the restaurant has not been open long, the waiter explained that their new menu – which contains over hundred types of cuisines such as Burmese, Pyay, Thai and Chinese food – will be released at the end of this month and we were requested to try their best cuisines. But the menu we saw – more like a pamphlet – describes over 40 different dishes with few photos.

Lime squid salad. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar TimesLime squid salad. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar Times

After about 15 minutes, all dishes arrived, one after another. A bowl of Pyay Palatha comes together with slice of lime, onions and green chilis. The gravy is nice, hot and spicy which definitely satisfied my palate and was worth the price.

Next is the Prome City regional salad. Unlike salads in Yangon, the salad contained ingredients such as tofu, noodles, papaya, potatoes and bean thread noodles. However, it didn’t stand out as the best food of Prome City.

As we were eating the fired rice, or rice salad, but we’ve never heard or know of these two come together for eat. We all dug into the fried rice salad with an extra fried egg. The decoration of the salad, unfortunately, was not executed well. Luckily the aroma was better than it had looked. But I can’t judge a dish on decoration and arrangement. The taste was neither salty nor oily. It was just right.

Prawn cereal. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar TimesPrawn cereal. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar Times

Then came the curry dishes from the Chinese menu, prawn with cereal stands out the best. Fried cereal with few small prawns doesn’t merit the price upon looks alone but after trying the flavor – a combination of sweet flavors and crispy textures – I immediately threw out the price.

The mouth-watering aroma of the freshly tossed squid salad can blow away whatever ails you. If you don’t like spicy I suggest that you not try this one. Even for a person like me who likes spicy food, I could only try a bit of the salad. With a blend of hot spices and sour lime, the squid salad became a favorite dish for my colleague, who was both sick and didn’t have a massive appetite.

My recommendation: try with the prawn with cereal.

Regional salad. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar TimesRegional salad. Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar Times

Prome City restaurant does not only offer Pyay regional food but also Chinese, Thai and Burmese cuisines with set menus.

Overall, Prome City is a good place for teetotalers and enjoying just food like us. For beverages, the restaurant only offers few soft drinks alongside Prome city regional milk tea and milk coffee – K1000 for each cup.

The Prome City is open every day from 8:30 am to 8 pm and it is located at No 301, ground floor, 9 Qtr, Bo Aung Kyaw St, Kyauktada Township.