You will have to wait. It doesn’t matter what time or day you go for dinner at Burma Superstar, how many you have in your party, or how much you bribe the host (we actually don’t know if that is true), you will have to wait. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to get seated, it’s just that in six times going there they’ve never had an open table. For a non-fine dining restaurant this is pretty impressive considering this place is hidden out in the Richmond district of the city. The wait time has never been too bad (usually around 20 minutes), though we’ve come to understand that it is TOTALLY worth it.
Burmese food (in case you didn’t guess that was the cuisine they served) is a combination of the surrounding country’s ingredients and styles; China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. Personally, we are big fans of most of these different food types so our first time we had an inkling we were going to be happy. The staff is very nice, the restaurant itself is smallish and quaint, with a lively atmosphere that comes from close tables and bustling servers.
This occasion we brought some friends along for the ride. Our group consisted of the two of us, the notorious Bowman siblings and Libby “the Libster” Engles. A group good as any to gorge on gorgeous dishes full of garlic and ginger (just some fantastic alliteration, no big deal). Family style is the way to go at Burma and we got a few of our favorites to share around.
First off is their Tea Leaf and Rainbow salads, dishes that have both been featured on the Food Network. The Tea Leaf salad (pictured above) features fermented tea leaves straight from Burma, whose unique, earthy and umami flavors really make this dish stand out. The salad also has romaine lettuce, tomatoes, dried shrimp, fried garlic, split yellow peas, peanuts, sunflower and sesame seeds. The salad is mixed by your server at the table and surprisingly the only dressing is fresh squeezed lemon. The combination of flavors and textures make for bites that are pretty much impossible to explain, so we won’t. Just know that there is something about this salad that puts a spell on you.
The Rainbow salad is another one mixed at the table, though this bad boy contains TWENTY TWO different ingredients! We’re not even going to list all of them for fear of carpel tunnel, but some of them are four different types of noodles, a plethora of fresh veggies and a sweet, spicy and tangy dressing. Another example of tons of ingredients mixing together to make a flavor bomb inside your mouth.
Their curry noodle (Nam Pia Dok) is a dish we’ve gotten every time. The curry sauce is mild but flavorful, the noodles have a soft consistency and the chicken is nice and tender. This dish is a great palate switch up for the salads and spicier items. Straight and to the point this plate hits the spot.
The last one we’ll talk about is the Chili Lamb dish we are fond of. Chunks of stir fried lamb wok tossed with fresh and dried chilli, onion and basil, and we always order coconut steamed rice (the perfect, slightly sweet accompaniment to the lambs spiciness). So simple, so amazing. We’re not sure if it’s the type of chilis, some special oil, or maybe some new drug we’ve never heard of, but this dish shines in it’s simplicity. Spicy, meaty and just exactly what you want when you think of killer Asian food. One of those dishes that goes fast and never seems to be enough. The heat is tempered perfectly by the rice and any residual heat is quenched by a nice cold Thai, Chinese or Indian beer.
We’ve been here six times in almost two years, and we’ll probably be back six more in the next two, what do you think?
A & K