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Fah Thai Magazine Sep-Oct 2018

HAPPENINGS MYANMAR

HAPPENINGS MYANMAR YANGON SPOTLIGHT Brittle Sweet Memories Your trip is coming to an end but it’s not over until the gifts list gets completed. For travels to Myanmar, suitcases filled with local handicrafts and perhaps some gemstones make some nice memories. However, one of the more popular souvenir items for everyone should be peanut crisps and peanut butter brittle. Because peanuts are grown widely in many parts of this country, especially around Bagan and Mandalay, it’s the ideal present. Peanuts are found in many local dishes, either sprinkled on top of noodles, pounded into salads, served in a peanut soup or toasted and simmered with palm sugar to make peanut candy crunch and peanut brittle. With the many types and flavours to choose at the local markets, the more simple crispy confections come in several flavours. Choices include sesame and cashew nut or butter peanut candy crunch, which are slightly sweeter versions. You’ll also find Myanmar chocolate on the shelves to satisfy every sweet tooth, packed with fruits and nut combinations. A block of organic sweet jaggery, a sugar made from the sap of toddy palm trees, is a local dessert often eaten right after a heavy meal to help with digestion which offers a rich taste and makes an ideal gift. Traditional jaggery used to be serve in chunks but now the dessert has become a delicacy and updated as bite size and in a stylish package. These sweets and desserts are now part of the Burmese identity. Before leaving Myanmar, pop into any supermarket and look for a shelf with ‘The Pride of Myanmar’ sign, for the many delicacies to bring home. All Photos Thawat Tangtienchai THE BRUNCH SOCIETY It’s basically all day dining at the Brunch Society, of western favourites with Asian influences, and a well-stocked bar for drinks. Stylishly done, the restaurant is located in the happening spot of Sule Plaza, just a short walk to Shangri-La Hotel at one end and the Sule Pagoda at the other. What attracts the crowd is not just its sleek utilitarian interior and industrial look, it’s also the vibrancy of the dishes prepared by an experienced Thai chef who was trained in the United States. There is also a wide range of beverages for you to enjoy, from regular cocktails to decent coffee and tea. With its friendly and reasonable prices, it’s a nice place to hold a business lunch in Yangon or a great meal and quick bite for travellers. facebook.com/thebrunchsociety HIGH TEA AT THE STRAND Among one of the traditions left behind by the British continue in popularity in Myanmar – the afternoon tea. This longstanding tradition still can be enjoyed in many restaurants and hotels in Yangon, not to mention that it’s become quite a fashionably social event in Yangon. To experience the best afternoon tea tradition, indulge yourself in a cuppa at one of Myanmar’s finest, The Strand Hotel Yangon on the banks of the Yangon River. The historic Strand’s Victorian-styled architecture was built in 1901 by the ambitious Sarkies Brother and eventually became one of Asia’s most prestigious hotels. Now renovated and under new ownership, the elegant colonial building retains much of its original details with its high ceilings, classic rattan furniture, and modern touches while retaining service of the highest standard. Seat yourself in The Strand Café to embrace the colonial era atmosphere, then enjoy a full British ‘high tea’ with savoury treats and patisseries, and equally delightful cakes from local ingredients. The tea service features the requisite silver tea trays and china served by a professional team who are just as elegant in their Burmese longyi. Afternoon tea at The Strand Café is available daily from 2-5pm, facebook.com/TheStrandYangon 136