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The Strand Yangon Celebrates Myanmar’s Culinary Heritage

July 18, 2017 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

Myanmar is a vibrant and multi-cultural country experiencing a boom in popularity with international travellers, attracting inquisitive and intrepid visitors seeking to learn more about the country and its culture, both ancient and contemporary.  To celebrate Myanmar’s culinary heritage, Yangon’s luxury urban resort, The Strand Yangon, recently expanded its a la carte menu at The Strand Café so guests can experience traditional home cooked dishes, and has introduced a two-night Fine Wine & Dine package.  The hotel has also announced details of a new outdoor swimming pool, al fresco dining terrace, spa therapy rooms and garden to open in November 2017.

The Strand’s Executive Chef, Christian Martena, spent many months while the hotel was recently closed for a renovation travelling around Myanmar visiting suppliers and remote farming communities to source the best organic fruit and vegetables.  Back at the hotel, Christian collaborated with fellow chefs, Daw Win Mar and Daw Nant Htwe Htwe, who have both worked at the Strand for over 25 years, to create the new menu.  Both began working at the Strand as assistant cooks in 1993, before becoming Chefs de Partie in 2006.  They form the backbone of the team at The Strand Café, and the menu draws on their years of experience cooking at the hotel, as well as personal family recipes.

Menu highlights include Laphet Thoke, Myanmar’s most famous salad of pickled tea leaves, beans, peanuts, fried garlic and dried shrimp; Kahyan Thee Thoke, a wonderfully intense roasted eggplant salad with crispy garlic, fresh coriander, peanuts and sesame seeds with a garlic, fish sauce and lime juice dressing; Mohingha, Myanmar’s national dish of fish soup made with rice noodles and topped with crispy fritters and a boiled egg; and Kyay Oh, a popular noodle soup with marinated meat balls in a bone broth.  Also on the menu is a selection of regional curries with a choice of chicken, mutton, tiger prawns, pork and barramundi from the coast.  Myanmar curries are more delicately flavoured than other curries in the region.  The fragrances and tastes are subtler, incorporating ingredients such as deep-hued turmeric and mild chili powder, and using cold pressed peanut oil and untoasted sesame oil to reduce oil content.

The Strand Café is the perfect complement to The Strand Restaurant; the hotel’s fine dining restaurant open for dinner five days a week and offering a seasonal, Mediterranean style, a la carte menu and degustation menu.  To allow guests to experience the best of both restaurants, The Strand Yangon has launched a two-night Fine Wine & Dine package, which includes accommodation in a Superior Suite based on double occupancy, a six-course dinner for two in The Strand Restaurant, a three-course lunch or dinner for two in The Strand Café and return airport transfers.  Valid from 1st August until the end of 2017, the package is priced from AUD$1109.

The Strand Café has been an oasis of calm amidst the bustle of Yangon for over 116 years, offering both locals and weary travellers the perfect setting to indulge in a leisurely breakfast, a light meal or enjoy the renowned Strand High Tea. As part of the hotel’s recent refurbishment, the café’s traditional rattan furniture and black lacquer ceiling fans have been updated with a new colour scheme, that is also reflected in the traditional Burmese longyi uniforms worn by staff.  The wallpaper is custom-made from antique engraving prints, showing a story of Myanmar from the era the hotel was built – it is printed with elephants and pagodas, both of which are symbols of Myanmar.

The Strand Yangon is one of the original luxury colonial outposts in South East Asia, opened in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers, founders of Raffles Singapore and the E&O in Penang. The Strand Yangon recently entered a new era after it completed a six-month restoration that ushered the hotel elegantly into the 21st century, preserving the building’s heritage and honouring its part in Myanmar’s history, while creating a more relaxed and glamorous setting for 21st century travellers and explorers.

The final phase of The Strand Yangon’s transformation into Myanmar’s first luxury urban resort will be revealed in November 2017 with the additional of a new 18m by 8m infinity edge swimming pool.  A teak wood terrace will edge the pool, offering space for 35 loungers, as well as four private pool cabanas and tables for al fresco all-day dining for up to 48 guests.  To one side of the pool will be a gym and wellness area with two beautifully appointed 25m2 therapy rooms, both designed for single or couple’s spa treatments.   Completing this oasis in the heart of the city will be a new 800m2 private garden, with secluded seating areas shaded by leafy palms and fragranced by native flora, leading to a private resident’s parking area.

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