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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