After checking in at Panda hotel, it was 1:00 PM already and our stomachs were asking for food, since we didn't now much about this area of the city and we didn't want to go too far, our best move was to ask at the reception for a famous restaurant in the area.
So at first they started to advice a restaurant that was miles away from our hotel, and since there were obviously closer options we stopped him directly and asked him for walking distance place, he directly came up with the name of Pandonmar restaurant. It rang a bell to me since I have read a few times about it, but I never checked about the location, so be it, let's try the famous Pandonmar.
As we had no expectations whatsoever regarding this restaurant since we had few information, we were agreeably surprised to see a nice two stories house with garden, which announced Pandonmar restaurant, Myanmar food and Thai food.
As the taxi dropped us in front of the entrance of the restaurant, two charming hostesses welcomed us politely and invited us to follow the server who would bring us to a table for two persons.
From the lobby of the place (yes it has some kind of lobby), you can figure out that the place is actually really big, since you have a room on your right hand side, stairs bringing to the second floor in front of you and on your left hand side another room, with a huge extension, in which group of tourists from Thailand and western countries are having lunch.
Even if the place is really big, the room at the right of the entrance is empty and as I go to the second floor, I meet plenty of people but which are only waiters, no customers at all.
So I ask to one of the waiter if I can have a look around. Again you have two big rooms and other small rooms, the waiter explained me that these small rooms are private, for some events and that during the high season, the place can be really packed some days. I chat with him for some time and excuse myself in order to join my friend who is waiting downstairs.
The waiter is waiting with him to take our order, so we quickly have a look and decide to trust the waiter's tastes by asking his advice. He suggest that we order bean paste pork curry, butterfish curry and fried watercress (also know as morning glory) with mushrooms, all in Myanmar style, and you chose a coconut rice instead of the usual boring white rice as a side dish.
While we are waiting for our order, we take a look at the menu a bit more thoroughly and we discover that Pandonmar is offering different kind of sets with several dishes, in both Myanmar and Thai food, that could be a nice idea for our next visit, to try a greater variety of dishes.
After a very short time, just enough to enjoy a few sips of our soft drinks, the food is already coming and served on our table, it looks really yummy.
The fish is served in a large hollow dish with a generous quantity of sauce, we both take a piece and enjoy the soft texture of the fish meat, nicely perfumed with curry flavor. The pork came in a bowl with a sauce that look like more a gravy made of beans and curry, a type of dish that is called curry in Myanmar, but I still can't consider it a curry since you don't really have the taste of the spices.
Tofu crackers Padonmar Yangon.JPG 97.96KB 0 downloads Butterfish curry Padonmar Yangon.JPG 132.4KB 0 downloads pork bean curry Padonmar Yangon.JPG 121.79KB 0 downloads Morning glory and mushrooms Padonmar Yangon.JPG 166.11KB 0 downloads Coconut rice Padonmar Yangon.JPG 141.07KB 0 downloads
The texture of the pork is ok, not too dry as you can have sometimes with this type of dish, and the sauce is good, but the taste of the meat is really too salty. So we wonder with my friend if it is just the way they prepare it or if it is really too salty. At this exact moment, the waiter come back and ask us if everything ok. We usually don't comment on the dishes, but since neither of us can take the salty taste, we politely tell him that it is too salty, the waiter ask us to wait for a moment and go to his manager, explaining him the situation. The manager comes right away and instantly apologies for the dish and offer to bring a new one, which we gladly accept and got served after another few minutes.
Last dish to try was the morning glory, which actually tasted close to perfection. I use to eat this vegetable a lot in Thailand and in China since it is one of my favorite one, and I really couldn't say anything about it. The vegetable are fried just enough to be crunchy and the match with the mushrooms is really a good find. Now I couldn't say if there were any MSG to enhance the taste, but the menu clearly advertised the fact that all of the dishes were MSG free.
Even we are full, we finish almost all the dishes, which go together really well with our coconut rice.
And since our stomach feel a bit heavy, we decide to move outside in the garden, to enjoy a short digestive rest.
So Pandonmar was really an unexpected good experience, with tasty food, even though if you are looking for the original Asian taste it might not be the place to go, since it is quite foreigner friendly, but their recipe seem to work well as a lot of tourist groups go to this place, at least it was the case this day, and Myanmar people also come here to enjoy local food in a really agreeable atmosphere.
So if you want to have dinner or lunch in a nice set up place, a little bit away from the noise of downtown, but still at a convenient distance, this is the place to go for Myanmar foreigner friendly food.
No. 105/107, Kha Yae Pin road,
(95) 1 538 895