Burmese food has become one of the latest trends to hit the London food scene following the popularity of Asian cuisine. I’m surprised it took this long considering how trendy Asian food is in the city. It’s a little like a mix of Thai, Chinese and Indian – flavour on flavour with rice and noodles being central. The cuisine has only recently had its chance to shine in the city and it won’t be long until we start seeing it pop up even more on restaurant menus and at street food festivals!
The Shan State
The Shan people primarily live in the Shan state of Burma (Myanmar) and the cuisine is known for being hearty and rich in flavour with everything from salty to sweet. The Shan State restaurant in London is tucked away on Shaftesbury Avenue and just a short walk away from Chinatown. This was my first Burmese dining experience and I was impressed!
We started with a selection of veggie tempura. This was tasty, who doesn’t love anything deep fried!? I particularly enjoyed the thinly sliced potato tempura.
For mains, we shared the veggie state curry and coconut noodles. The coconut noodles are a specialty in Burma so we were eager to try this. I can appreciate the rich flavours in the coconut noodles and the coconut kick was pleasant, but sadly I wasn’t in love with the coco this time. The dish was a tad too creamy and sweet for my taste buds so a few bites was enough. I really enjoyed the veggie state curry which had a spicy kick, creamy sauce and a handful of delicious veggies (always getting that 5 a day in).
The service was average and often difficult to get a waiters attention. I was also disappointed when I asked for vegetarian recommendations and I was told to look for the ‘v’ sign on the menu. I hadn’t thought to do that before. Nonetheless, the food was fun to try and I enjoyed the authentic feel of the restaurant. I will definitely be having Burmese food again soon!
Location: Shaftesbury Avenue
Perfect for: A casual catch up lunch or dinner