Sunday, August 20, 2017

Yunan BBQ: fine any time

My past experiences of eating barbeque in Yangon have mostly aligned with late nights with friends and plenty of Myanmar beer on flow. It felt a bit strange, then, to head out for some barbeque in the light of day simply because I was hungry.

A wide selection of barbeque fare at the Yunan BBQ restaurant. Photo: Manny MaungA wide selection of barbeque fare at the Yunan BBQ restaurant. Photo: Manny Maung

Yunan BBQ, at the corner of Kanyethethar Street and Kabar Aye Pagoda Road, has long been established as a Yangon institution, providing diners with plenty of choices of BBQ kebabs as well as la carte options from the menu. There is also a second location, located on Sayarsan Road in Bahan. While just as popular, I’ve been told it’s usually less crowded, so head there instead if you don’t want to be yelling at your companions throughout your meal.

On my recent lunchtime visit I was in the company of a couple of friends who have darkened Yunan BBQ’s door even more often than I have. I deferred to their superior menu knowledge, and soon enough – the service is quick – the table was covered with deep-fried chilli cuttlefish with salt and pepper, a selection of barbequed meats-on-a-stick, grilled baby corn and rice.

The cuttlefish (K3000)  was coated in Japanese PankoPanko breadcrumbs and came out a light golden colour. It was the first time in Myanmar that I’d eaten something deep-fried which didn’t leave behind a telltale layer of grease on the serving plate after it was gone.

Yunan BBQ (1)

No 48 (A), corner of Kanyethethar Street and Kabar Aye Pagoda Road, Mayangone township. Ph: 01 664496, 665398

Food :    8
Drink :    7
Service :    8
Atmosphere :    7
X-factor :    7
Value for money :    9

Total Score: 7.6/10

The barbequed meats were tasty fare, though I did pass on the liver (to the appreciative friend on my left). What really caught my eye – though unfortunately only after I was already stuffed – was the grilled pork being cooked in a giant vat over a bed of hot coals. Eyeballing it from our table I could see a juicy layer of blistering crackling and clear juices running down the hot meat. It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to Western-style roast pork here and in retrospect I’m really disappointed I didn’t just order it and hoe in.

I’ll guess I’ll just have to call them up and ask when their next daily batch is going to be ready. I’ll be the one waiting – as patiently as I can – outside the door.