Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Inle - Burmese Food

Inle is a pretty new Burmese restaurant located between Sasa and Lerk Thai at Marina Square. I've never treid Burmese food before, so I just had to try it. Actually, I've been told there's another place which is very famous for Burmese food, but I've yet to try it. Maybe next time when I'm free-er.

The menu at Inle is very well done - it's pretty big and has lots of colourful pictures. They even have succient explainations for some of the more popular Burmese dishes. Pickled Tea Leave Salad ($5++)
I couldn't resist trying this cos I've never heard of tea leaf salad, what more a pickled tea leave salad. The explaination in the menu reads as follows: "Tea is not only drunk but also eaten in Myanmar. Pickled tea leaves salad (Laphet Thoke) is an all time favourite delicacy of Myanmar. The leaves are fermented, pickled and served with an assortment of crispy chickpea, roasted peanuts, fried garlic, toasted sesame, dried shrimps, fresh garlic, fresh vegetables such as tomato and cabbage and dressed with vegetable oil and lime."

The salad is very interesting, with pickled tea leaves (quite moist), crunchy roasted nuts and fresh vegetables mixed together. The tea leaves are rather salty, and has a very strong fermented taste. Actually, I didn't quite like it, but I wanted to try it just to see how it tasted like. I also spotted a few roasted fava beans inside too, so people with G6PD deficicncy, better be careful to take those out while you're eating the salad.

My mum and I tried the all day set menu for $12.90++per pax. It comes with a choice of appetiser, main and drink, and you can add $2 to get an additional dessert.Appetiser - Century Egg salad
It was a tough choice between the Pennywort Salad (I dunno what Pennywort is, so tt's why I wanted to try it!) and the Century Egg salad, but since my mum loves century egg, we took this in the end. The salad is pretty interesting cos there's lots of crunchy onions, tomatoes, parsley and peanuts inside, and the texture is so interesting. Also, there's a bit of fish sauce and lime juice inside. The salad is well tossed and all the ingredients are coated with the dressing. Pretty good. I think they soak their onions before putting it into the salad cos the sharp oniony taste isn't there anymore. Which is good since I hate onion breath.

Gourd Fritters - fresh juicy gourd slices dipped in batter and deep fried. It's served with a tamarind sauce, which is nicely sour and slightly salty, which goes great with the bland gourd.

My main was the Myamar fried Kway Teow. It's a really huge portion - carbo overload after this. The kway teow they use is the good quality, very smooth, slighly translucent kind. It doesn't taste like phad thai, and it doesn't taste like any kway teow in Singapore. I don't really know how to describe it but it's slightly sourish and sweetish and very yummy. Also, check out these queer bean things inside the kway teow. They're slightly sourish maybe it's the Burmese version of dao jiong?
Butter flavoured rice with chciken curry. Their curry isn't as spicy as the local curries (perfect since their spices are so nice). I'm not sure what kind of spices they usethough, just that it tastes pretty different. There was also some kind of chilli or bell pepper which I've never seen before in the soup.

Other choices for the mains include seafood glass noodle, salted fish fried rice, traditional fried rice and this dish that I really want to try - Mohinga. It's some Burmese noodles which they eat for breakfast and lunch.
Saykalama "Birds Nest Drink" with a bit of rose syrup. They also have Myanmar Milk Tea/ Coffee in Hot/Cold but I don't take well to caffeine at night. But I'm definitely going to try the Milk Tea the next time I come back. Other choices for the drink include Sour Plum Juice, Tamarind Juice and the very uninspirational Coke.
Hpa Lua 'Rose Scented' Dessert for additional $2 with the set meal. It reminds me of ice kachang, just that there's rose syrup only and it's much milkier and is topped with a scoop of ice cream. Very shiok especially since my tongue was on fire. And there's even a cube of caramel custard pudding inside.
Great value for money, and interesting food. The ambience was pretty good when I was there cos it's still pretty quiet. The layout looks uncannily like Thai Express. This is a good place to check out if you're near Marina Square - the set meals are very affordable and filling.
Inle Myanmar Restaurant
6 Raffles Boulevard
#02-201 Marina Square
Tel: 6338 8772

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