For many years my knowledge of Burma / Myanmar was primarily limited to that of my decade old tryst with Khao Suey. Other than that what many years of schooling geography taught me was that this country was once the largest exporter of rice. Trust me those books never taught us how culturally diverse this once kingdom of pagan is. Influences of India, China & Thailand is easily visible in their cuisine. Deriving stir fry techniques from it's east and spices from it's west, Burmese cuisine is a symbiosis of Indian, Chinese & Thai flavors. Bringing a near authentic experience is a few months old south mumbai restaurant & tea room named - Burma Burma

It's located right inside one of the lanes of Kalaghoda's gastro epicenter. Coming from a graphics industry background, I'm sucker for clean minimal logos and BB's exterior has one such cute clean signboard logo that encompasses meaningful visual of a lacquered doll greeting you with her serene face and folded hands. Get past the door and you're greeted with an Myanmar inspired wood work ceiling partially filled with Parasols and the tea bar wall made of shelves filled with more burmese artifacts. 


The food menu is quite a rich and vast that easily can easily cover the length and breadth of Burma itself, From Paukse to Thoke and Khao Suey to Durian Ice Cream. The Tea menu is equally elaborate and features a collection of finest tea from the subcontinent. The first snack to arrive on the table are Sunflower seeds. Pick, Break and Eat is what one will be doing atleast for the first 5-10 minutes as you settle on the table. They've tied up with Mulshi Springs to package a house special mineral water induced with cranberry, mint sprig, cinamon stick and lemon rind - By far the most refreshing flavored water. Our order flowed like this -  Brown Onion & Roasted Chilli Buns, Tea Leaf Salad and Burmese Falafel. Mid meal break was a portion of Royal Myanmar Cha served in earthen cups. Then continued to main course which consisted of Tomato Peanut Chutney with Coconut Rice and lastly ended with Burmese Falooda and Chaw Chaw.

To shortlist a few dishes that were stellar and stuck with me even after the meal -

  • Mandalay Laphet Thoke (Salad) with crunchy fried dal, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, red cabbage and brewed tea leaves. A not so well presented dish but high on flavours and textures. This is the the most ordered & talked about dish on the menu.
  • Brown Onions & Roasted Chilli Paukse - These steamed buns are like sliders filled with caramelised onions flavoured with roasted chilli greasy base. Caution - To be consumed right away and if left for more than 10mins, The buns turn a chewy and boring.
  • Coconut Rice with Peanut Chutney - Yet another starry and talked about dish that's a little on the dry side of the palate. Smartly mixed flavours in the Tomato & Raisin based Peanut Chutney works extremely well with the Sticky Cocounut Rice. Must Order this !
  • Chaw Chaw - This jelly dish may not be liked by everyone but suited well to my taste. Made by combining Seaweed Jelly / AgarAgar and Coconut cream these wobbly checkers put a fantastic end to your traditional meal. 

Pricewise, it's a descent fare for a rather sparse cuisine that provided a totally satiating experience to a meat lover like me. Eight dishes costed 1910/- without taxes and including a cluster of taxes & charges it was 2400/-. The Marwari duo of Ankit Gupta & Chirag Chhajer have worked tightly and neatly perfected every aspect of this restaurant. Kudos to the team on getting this from Burma and of course with a lot of love :-)

Location : Kothari House, Allana Centre Lane,Opposite Mumbai University, Fort (Kalaghoda)

Phone : 022 40036600 / 01 / 16 (Make sure you reserve your table. High chances that you'll be on a waiting of nothing less than 24 hours)


My first interaction with this Burmese hot-pot dish was at friend's place for a potluck lunch around 8 years back. The fact that i gobbled bowl after bowl of this curry and rice combination didn't go down well with my girlfriend cause of the fact that i was relishing a dish that her friend had bought to the lunch ! Guys, Never ever do that ! There are some serious repercussion (no pun but it's your buns that are going to get the spanking). I could not stop myself from digging into spoonful of that rich creamy golden curry with rice and a garnish of barista (caramelized onions). Many years later i was reunited with that dish in 2012, Chef Nikhil Chib who opened Busaba in the 2000's now opened a full blown outlet 'Busago' that was dedicated to just Burmese cuisine. It had to battle the trends of Pastas & Dim Sums and it did quite graciously that they now have 3 outlets in the city.

Talking about meal in a bowl, i can compare it to another wholesome affair - Khichda. This rather dense paste is made from lentils, pulses & lamb and garnished with barista, chopped coriander and mint leaves. Both are equally filling and sustaining plus the garnish / accompaniments work exactly the same way and cut through the rich texture and bring a zest into your bite. 

Kaukswe at Busago, BKC.

Kaukswe at Busago, BKC.

Busago's version spelled 'Kaukswe' is the closest you can get to the original Burmese flavours. Mildly spiced coconut curry with Chicken / Veggies has to be combined with Rice Noodles and an array of accompaniments. As you can see in the picture below, I've combined my portion of noodles with curry and made a heap by adding caramelized garlic & onions, loads of chopped celery, chopped spring onions, slices of boiled eggs, chilli flakes and coarsely crushed peanuts. The base curry itself is so creamy and mellow on the palate that one can enjoy it as a rich creamy soup. It boost of flavours from cumin, turmeric, poppy seeds and more. As you take a spoonful of it, You'll start to experience the different textures and layers of the accompaniments trying to make it's way through the cream curry base. Especially the caramelized garlic that leaves a sticky sensation between the teeth and the celery which shines as the freshest and greenest element. Usually i do not prefer adding any crunchy elements as a garnish in any curry or rice, especially nuts. But every time i'm here i make an exception by garnishing my kaukswe bowl with a teaspoon of the crushed peanuts.

While you're here do try their signature Bahn Mi sandwiches (especially the Strong man's) and their curries with either Jasmine or Sticky Rice.

Outlet Locations : 
- 11, Gasper Enclave, Opp Golds Gym, Pali Hill, Bandra.
- FIFC Building, Ground Floor, BKC 
- Opp. Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Lower Parel.