Sunday, December 7, 2014

Yoogane Korean Restaurant Yangon

One thing i notice after coming to Yangon 2 years ago: I really, really, REALLY cant live without fried rice. Why? Simply because its easy to order and also thats the only complicated Burmese word I can conjure up. But then when u have the same fried rice every single day you would start craving for something, well...a little more complicated and flavorful. Thats when Yoogane Korean Restaurant came into my life.

Yoogane (Yoo-ga-ney) is technically a chicken galbi restaurant, meaning you would be served a serving of marinated chicken (in typical Korean fashion, with spicy marinades) on a hot plate but what catched my eyes were the fact that you can sort of customize your galbi with white rice and of course, the typical mozzarella cheese we Asians love so much. Fried rice with Korean marinaded chicken and cheese? I say yes, yes please.

photo taken from Yoogane's facebook page

The setting of not of your typical Yangon type of few wooden tables and short plastic chairs, but decorated nicely with good designer (at least they look designer to me) furniture with ample space between tables. Doggyjames like...

So what happens here? First you order your choice of galbi/types of meet and style of marinades, which in this case was the store's signature Yoogane's Marinated Chicken Galbi (7,800ks) with some extras for rice (2,000ks) and cheese (2,000ks). The order arrived surprisingly fast, well considering there were no cooking involved just yet.

As of any Myanmar restaurants, there are at least 1 waiter for each table, in which Yoogane made sure they make full use of the waiters....they double up as cooks!

I must say the waiters/cooks are really careful not to spill any meat or sauce onto us when we were there, even putting up a big metal plate around the hot plate for us. So they would cook the chicken, then the vegetables and then if you want the rice, the rice and the cheese. The whole process took less than 15 minutes which is not too bad unless you are really, really hungry....which me and my lunch buddies were at that time.

The result? A bloody good mash up of flavorful chicken, rice and gooey cheese. Could do with more salt but I am good with it though you can always ask for more salt and soy sauce from the waiters. The flavorful chicken combines really well with the rice and with the addition of cheese, this dish is sure to cause serious food coma for anyone. We surely did, ordering 6 portions for 5 people (dont try this at home...).

the final product- a wonderful orgy of Korean goodness

There are other sides available at Yoogane if you feel like you can handle it, in this case we ordered egg rolls (3,000ks) and Royal Court Topokki (6,500ks) which is a traditional Korean dish with rice cakes and pork. The Topokki was really one of a kind, really flavorful with the right kind of textures mixtures.



Yoogane is certainly a welcomed addition to the Yangon foodscene. Price might be a bit on the higher range for most people but it's certainly a good experience for all!

Oh, aprons are required by the way.


Here is a map for you readers. Yoogane is located at Pearl condo next to Loterria. Them Koreans sure love to hang out together.

Yoogane Korean Restaurant Yangon
Pearl Condo, Kabaraye Pagoda Road,
Bahan Township, Yangon.

Tel: 09 42117 6800


doggyjames says...much welcome addition in Yangon, word of advice: do not overorder!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Peppers Diner, Yangon

A slab of mediocre steak, which was served well done although I have always ordered medium rare. Tasteless chicken steak swimming in store bought powdered gravy. Uncooked fish that smells like they were sunbathing under the hot Yangon sun for hours...

These are common situations you will face if you decide to have a meal at most of Yangon's "western" restaurants. Fortunately enough, you will not find these at Peppers Diner, located at a sublime setting in Yankin township.

I was called out for dinner one day after work by my fellow expats in the office, saying they are going to a really good western restaurant which in my mind, was just meh, another fake-ass western restaurant? Little did I know this would be one of my favorite restaurants ever.

Peppers is set in a nice bungalow, a common sight in Yangon. With ample seating both inside and outdoors, I'd say its pretty impressive especially when it's called a diner instead of a cafe or restaurant. We sat down and after a short wait and some obligated work talk, the food was served.

First to come was the French Onion Soup (4,000Ks). I was immediately taken by the smell of this home made dish. Onion-ny, generous with cheese and topped with a nice piece of baguette, the soup is definitely made fresh and NOT from a can. My slight cold that night was cured instantly after this delicious little wonder.

wonderful little bowl of goodness

I ordered the Fish Au Gratin (7,000Ks) which includes a fresh piece of fish baked to perfection and served with a side of salad and sauteed vegetables. The fish was done just right, not overcooking it and the flavors were heightened by the presence of butter and lemon, a really good way to end my fish cravings that week.

awesome alternative to Fish n Chips

My colleague's Beef Tenderloin (8,000Ks) which was done perfectly medium rare, served with sauteed potatoes was even more impressive. The meat was cooked just right with the perfect amount of char to it. The bread was a nice touch, just the right tool to soak up all the extra juices from the steak.

its actually much bigger than it seems

The Chicken ala Cream (6,500Ks) was surprisingly good. Half a chicken with cream sauce served with salad, sauteed veges and mash potatoes. The chicken was tender and juicy, something you dont always expect at a Myanmar western restaurant. And the cream was heavenly, too bad we ran out of bread to soak up all the sauce!

yummy chickies

Peppers is certainly a great choice for Yangonites yearning for a nice, affordable western restaurant. Oh, did I mention the coffee here is really good too?

Here's a map for you readers. Peppers is located alone New University Avenue Road, near the intersection between New University Avenue Road & Sayarsan road.

Peppers Diner
612 New University Anevue Road,
Yankin, Yangon.

doggyjames says....value for money western restaurant with really good food, whats not to like?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

999 Shan Noodle Shop, yangon

Small little shop: checked.

Helpful workers & friendly boss: checked.

Great food: Double Checked!

Being what you'd call a true Asian (for my Malaysian/Singaporean readers: cinapek), I proudly admit to be a noodles guy who would go crazy over a simple bowl of piping hot noodle soup. 999 Shan Noodle Shop in downtown Yangon easily fits my 3 criteria of a great noodles shop: small setting, friendly boss & waiters, fantastic food.

At first glance this unassuming little shop tucked away in a small alley in downtown Yangon might seem like any other noodle shop in Asia, but once you pay notice you will see locals enjoying their noodles alongside what seemed to be seasoned expats (note: T-shirt, shorts and slippers without any cameras) which are always signs of a great hole-in-a-wall noodle place.

My first visit to 999 was after getting inked at my tattoo artist's place about a block away from the shop, when I was still in agonizing pain and probably taking pity on me, the tattoo artist suggested I go to 999 for a nice lunch (or post traumatic treatment, its all good). After ordering from the menu which has English words on it (always helpful), I fell in love with this place almost immediately. Something about the charm of a little shop and people watching, I don't know, just loved it.

I ordered a serving of Shan Noodle soup which cost less than Ks1500 (most of their noodles cost between Ks1000 & Ks1500) and a side of fried tofu which apparently is a staple snack in Shan state. The soup, while looked really blend and clean was packed full of flavours, most likely from the bones & vegetables they make the stock from. The noodles were chewy and a delight to have, I immediately ordered another bowl after slurping up mine within 3 minutes.

The fried tofu was light and had a fine aroma, perfect marriage with the noodles I'd say. Wouldn't say its the best tofu I had but definitely among the best in Yangon.

What surprised me was the standard condiments which come with the noodles. The preserved vegetables was dynamite, it was crunchy, aromatic and comes with a hint of cognac, probably from the fermentation process. The chilli sauce was amazing as well, though my mind was all over the preserved vegetables.

I have made 999 my usual Friday lunch place in Yangon for the past couple of months and with over 20 different choices of noodles available, I can safely say this ranks among the best noodles restaurants in Yangon.

999 Noodle Shop
No.130 34th Street,
Downtown Yangon

doggyjames noodle shop in yangon? yes by far!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Coffee Club, Yangon

I think for any expats or foreigners based in Yangon, the best place to make us feel at home is a nice cup of artisan coffee, just like what we are used to back home. After going around 5 star hotels for a cup of coffee on weekends (good coffee and environment, but for USD5 a cup? forget it), I finally stumbled onto this nice little place in downtown Yangon.

a view from the balcony

The interior resembles a nice little family owned coffee place in Sdyney or Melbourne, which made the place a little bit more familiar to me. Staffs were helpful and knows their coffee too.

small but cozy

reasonable pricing too

Not to forget the vast variety of cafe food too, (almost) everything under the sun.


Coffee here really is the bomb in yangon, a cuppa latte cost Ks1,700, probably the most reasonably priced coffee in town considering you only get instant coffee at the tea stands. The nice coffee art would brighten up anyone's day too.


One must have food on the menu here would be the pies. I have always been a sucker for good pies and I would say the pies here are some of the best I have had in Yangon. The pastry skin is really crispy and the fillings really generous. The steak pie (Ks4,800) which I usually have are filled with generous chunks of meat and the gravy inside is fantastic too, perfect for the raining season now. The mini quiches (Ks800) here are delightful and just cute, and another must must snack? The freshly baked cookies!(ks600)

the pie

cute little quiches


And if you have trouble deciding which hole to pee/poop into, they have it covered!

sit or stand? you decide

Here's a map for you readers. Note that Coffee Club is locate on the 1st floor above a handphone shop so you have to look up for the big sign on top. Parking is almost impossible so just get a taxi. Internet speed at this place is decent and if you see doggyjames sitting there enjoying his pie & coffee, come by and say hi! :D

Coffee Club
Level 1, Corner of 11th Street and
Maha Bandoola Street, Downtown Yangon.

Tel: 01224360 ext 201

facebook page

doggyjames says...I would not go as far as saying CC is the best coffee place in town, but it certainly ranks within the top 5 in my books!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Guide to Myanmar Tea Shops

Ask any Malaysian, or anyone who lived in Malaysia long enough, what is the trademark Malaysian night time activity and you would probably get this answer 99% of the time: mamak! The silky smooth teh tarik, the crispy, fragrant roti canai...if i were to pick one thing i missed the most back home, it would be mamak stalls.

Fortunately for me, Myanmar has her own version of mamak stall too! I almost jumped through the roof with joy after a colleague asked me to join him at a local tea shop, which he promised serves almost exactly the same food one would expect in a Malaysian mamak stall.

This particular tea shop is located in Kamaryut township, along Insein road, just a km or 2 away from where my apartment is. There is no point for me to state the details of this particular shop as there are at least 3 tea shops in almost every street in Yangon, big or small.

spot the malaysians

First the food, we decided to go for some roti canai, which in Myanmar is called dhosai (or tosai). Really different from Malaysian or India, where dhosai is a completely different thing. Remember to ask for curry or dhaal (if they have it) as the dhosais normally come with beans or peanuts. Curry in Myanmar is called, surprisingly, "curry".

crispy, fragrant dhosai

order your dhosai at the cooking station, normally located
in front of the tea house

mutton curry

Now to order your cup of tea. they are normally called lapae-ya but everyone here orders tea to their taste. here's a list:

cuppa lapae-ya anyone?

cha seh: sweeter tha usual, the normal ones are pretty sweet already but the locals do like their tea sweeter than usual.

bone mahn: regular tea, same as lapae-ya

baw shent: strong tea, my cuppa tea.

cha hseent: a stronger than the one above, and less sweet. my usual

bancho: strong and sweet 

And if you want, ask for sheh-la with your tea. This usually means you tea would be made with condensed milk from a tin, cost about 50-100kyats extra than a normal cup or tea, which is usually 150-200kyats.

Or if you want, you can opt for the standard free chinese tea provided at all the tea shops, called cha. Or as i call it, a tea tank.

a tea tank, standard issue in

There you go, your guide to drinking tea in Myanmar. Remember to say jetsu tema le to your friendly waiter & waitresses after enjoy your yummy cup of tea!

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