When I asked on a YouTube video where to eat in Yangon, one of the responses that came up the most, was Minn Lan Restaurant.
Since Minn Lan is located a bit of a journey from downtown Yangon (where I spent most of my time), I didn’t make it to Minn Lan until my final day in the city, en-route to the airport, when we stopped for a seafood feast… and it didn’t let me down.
One of the top things I love doing most in Yangon is eating, everything from the many street food delights, to seafood sit down restaurants.
Minn Lan is surely one of the most famous restaurants in Yangon, a restaurant that specializes in serving mainly seafood dishes from the Rakhine state of Myanmar (the state that occupies the western coastline).
There are a number of Minn Lan restaurant branches in Yangon, but I went to the branch on Parami Road near Inya Lake (see map at bottom).
We went in the late afternoon, at about 4:30 pm, and already, the restaurant was quite busy.
As we ate, it even got busier, so I can only imagine how busy and packed the restaurant must be on peak meal holidays or weekends.
Outside there were a number of tables set up under tents, but further into the restaurant, the dining room opened up into a gym-like room filled with metal tables and diners.
We chose a prime table, right at the entrance of the restaurant, in the outdoor section, and began the challenging process of ordering… not because the menu wasn’t easy to follow (they have a beautiful picture menu), but because there are so many tempting things to try, so many seafood dishes available.
It was my first time to eat Rakhine cuisine, and paired with seafood… I was more than a little excited.
Tiger Prawns BBQ
One of my favorite things to eat in the world are giant prawns, both freshwater and saltwater. Tiger prawns are salt water prawns, and these guys were pretty good size.
On the menu, they said BBQ, which I would take to be grilled, but they tasted more like fried to me – so not sure exactly how they were cooked.
One thing I’m for sure of though, is that they were covered in a mountain of incredibly fragrant deep fried garlic.
The prawns were very tasty, cooked just under fully cooked, so they were juicy, and that garlic was very tasty. The provided green chili sauce, made each bite even better.
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The manager of Minn Lan restaurant recommended I taste their Rakhine noodles, and you could either order dry with the soup on the side, or already mixed in with soup.
Ying and I chose dry noodles with soup on the side.
The Rakhine noodles were similar to “Thai kanom jeen noodles”, soft rice noodles.
They were tossed with a few different ingredients including pieces of fish cake, shallots, cilantro, garlic, and some kind of a slightly sour dressing. I really liked it, it was kind of like a noodle salad.
Squid with garlic
Seeing squid fried in garlic on the menu, I also couldn’t resist the temptation.
The squid was huge and meaty, the body of the squid, and it was first sliced up into bite sized pieces, and stir fried with heaps of garlic.
There was probably a little sugar in it as well, because the garlic had started to caramelize itself onto the squid. The squid was nice and tender, and what I really liked about it was that they didn’t use too much oil.
Rakhine crab curry
To continue our seafood extravaganza, and because the price was so affordable we couldn’t resist, we also ordered a massive plate of Rakhine style crab curry.
It was unlike any other crab curry I had ever had before.
Instead of a heavy greasy curry, this was much more light, not greasy at all (I’m not even sure if they used any oil cooking this), and it was more of a watery sauce (not to say it wasn’t flavorful).
The sauce was sour, and thickened with what appeared was an egg, so it was still quite watery and runny. I didn’t taste too many spices, but maybe a little hint of curry powder and turmeric.
I thought it was wonderful, a nice light and complementing sauce for the sweet crab.
Curry pomfret (spicy)
And just because we weren’t sure if we had ordered enough seafood (actually, the real reason is because I was a little over-excited looking at the menu, that I lost track of how many dishes we had ordered), we ordered a pomfret curried Rakhine style.
We had so much food already, so good thing the pomfret was just a little fish!
Though it was the last dish I ordered, it turned out to be one of my favorites of the meal.
The Indian ocean silver pomfret is almost circular in shape, and it fits the shape of a plate nicely.
The fish was first deep fried, then covered in a curry sauce that was mostly tomato and onion based, and filled with very slightly spicy peppers, and just a few subtle spices.
It was almost like a fried fish with extremely flavorful spaghetti sauce, with an nice smokey flavor, covering it.
I really loved it along with rice.
Just after ordering all the seafood dishes, I realized we had failed to order any vegetable dishes.
I usually try to order a different range of dishes including vegetables, so I quickly thumbed through the menu and saw Rakhine salad – which I’m not sure what the real name is in Burmese (or Rakhine).
It was served cool, and the vegetable, which tasted to me like a morning glory type of stem dominant vegetable, was mixed with lots of mushrooms, sesame seeds, chilies, and fried shallots.
The taste of it almost reminded me of a Japanese sesame salad dressing, heavy on the fragrant sesame oil.
The Rakhine salad was the perfect green accompaniment to the seafood.
For dessert, we didn’t actually order anything, considering we were quite stuffed from the many dishes we ordered.
But before finishing our meal, the manager brought out a plate of dessert and a plate of fruit – to which we thanked him immensely – but I’m still not sure if this comes with every meal, or if it was special?
Anyway, the dessert, which I’m not sure of the name, was like a coconut custard, a little chalky, but really nicely coconut flavored and not too sweet.
But for myself, not being a big lover of sweets, I preferred the fresh fruit – I think one of the best ways to end a satisfying feast.
Here’s our total bill, which altogether came to 20,000 Kyats ($20.13).
I thought it was quite an amazing deal for the amount of fresh seafood we ate. In Bangkok, the bill could have been nearly twice that.
Minn Lan is a famous restaurant in Yangon, Myanmar that serves a wide range of Rakhine style seafood dishes. The menu is huge, and includes versions of just about anything from the sea that you’d like.
Everything we ordered was delicious, and I especially enjoyed the experience of trying Rakhine food for the first time, plus the addition of delicious seafood.
The flavors were heavy on garlic, nicely spiced with chilies, many of the dishes had a lovely sour component to them, and I especially loved that nothing was too greasy or oily as Burmese curries can often be.
If you love seafood, you should without doubt check out Minn Lan.
Thank you to everyone who suggested this restaurant to me!
Address: Parami Road, Yangon, Yangon Region, Myanmar
Open hours: 11 am – 9 pm daily
Prices: Our total bill came to 20,000 Kyats ($20.13)
How to get there: My wife and I took a taxi from central downtown Yangon for 4,000 Kyats, and the ride took about 20 minutes
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