Sometime last year, I received a gift voucher from the Apples & Pears Group when their Red Spice Road on McKillop street had to close their doors for a period of time due to a kitchen fire. Le Boy and I were not too familiar with their sister restaurants at the time and thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to give their other restaurants a go. Before coming to Burma Lane, I had but only one other Burmese dining experience.
That other restaurant has not closed its doors to the Melbourne public and provides catering services only. I had come to Burma lane with the expectation to taste a variety of food similar to my previous experience but with that modern Australian twist.
Some of the dishes were really nice, while some others were just straight up not what I had envisioned especially after having seen a particular Youtube presentation of the dish.
Burma Lane’s Youtube video presentation of Fried Shan Tofu
This is what I had expected my Fried Shan Tofu to look like when I ordered it.
Fried Shan Tofu – Smashed tomatoes, herbs and peanuts $15.00
And this is what I actually got. Now, to be fair, the dish does state, tomatoes, coriander and peanuts only. But seriously, if I had known that I was only going to get a double couple of plain crispy tofu matchsticks with some barely there smashed tomatoes, a sprinkle of peanuts and a few coriander leaves nearly placed around the plate…. I would not have ordered the dish. Was the tofu nice and crisp? Yes it certainly was. It was well fried too I might add, but oh so incredibly plain at the same time.
Potato and shredded lamb cakes served with mint sauce $16.00
The tender inside these crispy bite sized little morsels were really nice and tender. The potato help bring all the textures together and make it all nice and smooth. For $8.00 a piece, all I can say is that at least it tasted good.
Chargrilled asparagus, smashed golden egg, cauliflower and tomato curry with sweet potato crisps $28.00
This cauliflower and tomato curry was my favourite dish of the evening. Served with a nice variety of vegetables with a combination of textures all in one, everything was on point. The sweet potato crisps were fun to eat while everything else came together really well. The curry was not too tart, but had enough of a tang which made it fun to eat with rice.
Chargrilled 3 spice chicken with balachaung and dipping sauce $30.00
Our initial impressions of this dish was that we had just paid $10 per piece of chicken, I kid you not. Served alongside a small tray with three types of accompaniments; a sweet chili like sauce, chili paste and pickled chili cucumbers, the dipping sauces was what made the chicken a bit more exciting. The chicken was grilled to perfection and the meat was nice and tender.
Coconut Panna cotta $17.00
Lime curd, tapioca, Sichuan crumbs, fresh mangosteen, meringue
This beautiful dessert provided Le Boy and I with a little tasting adventure. There was a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar sweet elements to the dish. The panna cotta, meringue and tapioca were things we knew and loved, while everything else created such interesting textures with sweet and spicy bitter tastes that neither of us were entirely sure if we really liked it or not.
Although we had made a booking for dinner that Tuesday night, the restaurant was so quiet that you probably could have just walked-in and still get a table. Everything went pretty slowly that night, from placing our orders in general to the actual time we waited for food to come out. I was really forward to a potential new place to have really nice authentic Burmese food, but Burma Lane has a rather more South East Asian fusion feel to it.