Peninsula Plaza, fondly hailed as Singapore’s ‘Burmese Mall’, houses not only little Myanmar stores but hides a serene Myanmar restaurant in its basement. Away from the prying eyes and heavy traffic of North Bridge Road, Inle Myanmar Restaurant is a 4-years old haven for the sizeable Myanmar community who misses home. From the ambience to the menu, Inle moulds a miniature Myanmar right in the heart of Singapore.
An appetiser of Pickled Tea Leaves Salad ($4) (see picture above) and hot Myanmar tea ($0.50) will be an excellent foray into Myanmar cuisine – a scintillating blend of sweet, sour and spicy. Myanmar tea leaves are preserved in oil and served with savoury nuts, white sesame seeds, dried shrimp, tomato slices, cabbage shreds, fresh Thai chilli and a special dressing in a salad that bursts forth with distinctively strong flavours. Pickled tea leaves are overwhelmingly salty at first taste, but become interestingly, tasty and addictive when paired with extremely crunchy nuts. The fragrance of tea leaves and sesame lingers on in your mouth until you take a draught from the steaming cup of hot Myanmar tea. Made from tea leaves roasted with rice, this drink imparts a light aroma of glutinous rice and cleanses your tongue of the salad’s taste, preparing it for the next mouthful of pickled tea leaves.
As savoury as the pickled tea leaves salad may be, you will do better with Inle’s signature Golden Century Egg Salad ($4.50) (see picture above) if you fancy sour dressings. Instead of the usual ominously black eggs we see in Chinese cuisine, Myanmar’s version surprises with a resplendent golden hue. Served with a surprisingly sour and spicy dressing, the golden century egg tastes less pungent than its ebony comrade. Wash down the starters with a glass of Inle’s fresh Tamarind Juice ($2.50), a mildly sweet drink that hides an underlying sour tinge – a guaranteed thirst quencher.
One should not miss the Moun Hin Ga ($5.50). This traditional Myanmar dish of rice noodles in fish gravy is as representative of Myanmar cuisine as laksa is of Singapore fare. Featuring the peculiar banana tree stem, this dish includes boiling tough banana tree stems slices for a full hour till it is soft and textured to the tongue. Rice noodles are heavy-laden with the goodness of the fish gravy that looks spicier than it really is, and reminiscent of Penang laksa . Inle recommends a side of Fried Gourd ($4.50) to further savour the tantalising fish gravy. Golden fried fritters hide a refreshing, green strip of marrow-long gourd, more commonly known as bu gyaw in Myanmar, complementing the fish gravy well.
Alternatively, the Fried Myanmar Tofu ($4.50) is ideal for an oily indulgence. Served with a tamarind dipping, the fried tofu triangles must be savoured hot to taste the contrast between the lightly fried skin and the creamy tofu goodness on the inside. Once you leave them to cool off, the tofu tastes bland and rather akin to sodden cotton wool. The world of difference in taste is determined within minutes, so this side should be more suited for a larger gathering (4 to 6 persons) where the otherwise delicious tofu triangles can be snapped up in a flash.
If you are someone who abhor anything fishy, the fish gravy is likely out of question for you, but settle for the Oun Nau Khau Hswe ($5.50), Inle’s curry noodles with chicken, which strangely tasted like a typical local curry chicken noodle. The yellow noodles are well-flavoured with the thick, aromatic curry gravy that tastes slightly sweet with only the slightest hint of spiciness. The chicken was, however, disappointingly drier than expected.
Forgo the chicken and enjoy the full curry goodness with Inle’s Myanmar Style Curry Pork ($5.50). Chunks of luscious pork, lined with fatty bits, are served in a dry curry that is made without the sinful coconut milk. As fat as the pork may be, the meat is well stewed and carries a full-bodied spice aroma of this lip-smacking curry.
A typical meal at Inle can be very filling but one must not leave without tasting the Hpa Lu Da . Seek solace in the comfort of vanilla ice cream, grass jelly, agar agar, sago, atap seeds, nata de coco and egg pudding in this all-time favourite Myanmar dessert. Inle hand-makes their egg pudding, a highly popular item on their menu, which carries custard-like taste with a firm texture.
Their full menu can be seen from their website.
If you pay using UOB Credit Card, with a minimum spending of S$30, you get 10% off your food bill. AND if it’s your birthday month, present your I/C and get a complimentary dessert on the house.
Note: This review was extracted from StreetDirectory.com.
I visited this place with my family on 6 Dec 2007. We ordered various dishes and mango salad was one of them. If you’re really fond of Thai mango salad like we do, don’t ever order this dish as the Myanmar’s version is made up of soft mango instead of the crunchy ones we’re used to in Thai mango salad.
The curry chicken set was interesting. The curry is more like our rendang instead of the local curry dish that we’re used to. This dish is also much oilier than our rendang.
A set meal consisting of curry chicken, rice, a small bowl of soup costs less than S$7. Add another S$1.50 if you’re ordering the set for a drink, else it’ll cost something like S$3.
They also have a dessert resembling our chendol except that it doesn’t have gula melaka and comes with 4 tiny pieces of bread.
Overall, food was nice; except that it’s oilier and dessert is sweeter than what I would like it to be.