10 May Burma Lane, Melbourne CBD
It would be easy to be overshadowed if your stablemate is the ever-popular Red Spice Road. Burma Lane is headed up by Executive Chef John McLeay, who also looks after RSR, and the menu takes inspiration from both modern and traditional Burmese food, injected with a Modern Australian twist. The multi-level restaurant is dark and modern, and the contemporary feel is furthered by walls featuring local art and a colourful mural of now State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Pork Belly comes with pickled green mango, tamarind, tumeric and a variety of herbs. Not as sweet as RSR’s version, its sauce is tangy and delicious. Although the pork belly meat is pull-apart tender and there are some promises of a crispy skin in parts, the skin in general is a tad too chewy.
Rahkine Fisherman’s Stew is a seafood tomato-based stew boasting fresh fish, prawns, baby octopus, a handful of mussels and slices of bamboo shoot. It has a pleasant tomato-ey bite, and the thick sauce is particularly comforting on this chilly night.
Burmese food has been influenced by its neighbouring countries Thailand, China and India, and this is evident in noodles, breads, curries, spices and herbs. The Beef Cheek Curry is more sweet than spicy, and the tender chunks of meat come with a good serving of Chinese broccoli. Pickled eggplant is stirred through the sauce, which has a hint of aniseed. Though it’s not written on the menu, steamed rice is available and it could be a better option to go with certain dishes compared to the fried rice, whose flavours include spices such as tamarind. Crispy, buttery paratha is another wonderful accompaniment to the curries and stews.
It is pricey, but Burma lane does offer a good glimpse into Burmese cuisine.
118 Little Collins St
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
(03) 9615 8500