Tag Archive: Red Mountain Estate


Eating Around Myanmar


I would have wanted to end the series with the country’s cuisine but realized I don’t have enough photos to interest you. There’s the Monhinga which I had most breakfasts — a soupy noodle dish steeped in catfish broth. Yum. And of course, there’s the Myanmar and Mandalay beer, along with the full-bodied Shiraz and Cab Sauvignon wines from Red Mountain Estate, in the area of Lake Inle. I also tried some fried stuff, too oily for my liking, but I tried it anyway and “paid for it” with a bum stomach. So, cuidate!

 

 

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That is not to say you should avoid street food altogether. We liked some cracklings or “kropeck” and some local fruits while we were there. But if you go to the local market, you’d find lotsa stuff, mostly fried, and OILY. Some looked liked fried pancakes, others were simply fried/floured vegetable strips. If you grow tired of Myanmar cuisine, you’d also find many Thai restos around. We were also happy with our pizza and pasta lunch in Golden Kite Restaurant in Lake Inle area. Take your pick!

 

 

This was served to the monks. I was waiting for an invite but didn't get lucky😄

This was served to the monks. I was waiting for an invite but didn’t get lucky😄

 

 

Not food but they chew on it! Betel nuts and leaves, anyone? Photo Credit: Chikie

Not food but they chew on it! Betel nuts and leaves, anyone? Photo Credit: Chikie

 

 

Because they share borders with Thailand, Laos, India and Bangladesh, Myanmar cuisine was influenced by these neighboring countries’ dishes. Except for the Monhinga noodle soup, I can’t think of a distinctly Burmese dish now. The curry dishes remind me of either India or Thailand. But maybe, I wasn’t my usual adventurous self while I was here because of my bum stomach.😔

 

 

Went nuts over this local fruit. Photo Credit: Chikie

Went nuts over this local fruit. Photo Credit: Chikie

 

 

This is monhinga soup, made of rice noodles, fish broth and lotsa herbs and spices.

This is mohinga soup, made of rice noodles, fish broth and lotsa herbs and spices.

 

 

When in doubt though, go for the Monhinga soup. And then some fruits. Our guide said they grow very good rice in Myanmar. Records show that for a time, the country was a top rice exporter. Can’t complain. Especially over their fried rice with all sorts of veggie strips thrown in.

 

 

Not sure what they're selling. Venue: 5 day "moving market" in Lake Inle

Not sure what they’re selling. Venue: 5 day “moving market” in Lake Inle

 

 

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Street food is a-plenty. And very, very cheap. That’s good news for the budget travelers. If you want to be picky and play safe, just try the international (and “milder” versions of the local dishes) buffet in many of Myanmar’s hotels and big restaurants.

While shopping in Lake Inle, the vendors were having this for snacks. Ogled it for a long time and merited an invite. Got lucky this time 😄

While shopping in Lake Inle, the vendors were having this for snacks. Ogled it for a long time and merited an invite. Got lucky this time 😄

 

 

 

 

It's like the equivalent of vegetable tempura or kakiage, but tons oilier!

It’s like the equivalent of vegetable tempura or kakiage, but tons oilier!

 

 

Overall, my best gastronomic memory of Myanmar is really their……. WINES. Best surprise! At US$20-$27 a bottle of shiraz or cab, give it a go. It would have been interesting to see the vineyards of Red Mountain Estate. But the wines…. I’m really pleasantly surprised.

 

 

Taro leaf-wrapped and floating in oil!

Taro leaf-wrapped and floating in oil!

 

 

It's custard apple from Myanmar. Not as good as their Thai counterpart.

It’s custard apple from Myanmar. Not as good as their Thai counterpart.

 

 

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My best recollection of Myanmar would have to be the many stupas of Bagan and our stay in this wonderful floating hotel in Lake Inle. It sure pays to have (and spend) this “extra” especially after a tiring, dusty week in the land of gold. My advice? If you have the extra bucks, use it to spend at least a night here!

 

 

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First off, Lake Inle by itself is truly beautiful. Now, savor all that beauty by staying in this gem of a hotel. Huts on stilts, each with a porch or balcony. Our cottage’s balcony faces the entrance arch to the floating resort so it was fun watching those canoes sailing in and out, each batch of hotel guests seemingly “welcomed” by the resident seagulls who have each chosen a pole as their “sentry”.

 

 

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There’s a walkway towards the cottages, the spa, the dining area, and the swimming pool. Never had the chance to check the pool in this weather, but I’m hoping it’s heated considering the temp’s hovering around 7-10 Celsius. I can imagine it’s fun on summer nights. Yet I like the winter vibe in this lake area, and would in fact suggest a Myanmar visit during the cooler months of December and January. No worries — there’s a heater in the cottages. More than that, there’s a mosquito net too! The beds are not as comfortable but if you’re all curled up like a shrimp throughout the night, it hardly matters.

 

 

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Food was good. They served local cuisine along with continental dishes. Don’t miss the local noodle dish called Monhinga. It’s made with thin rice noodles steeped in fish broth, crushed lemon grass and shrimp paste. Very delicious! You can pair them with the local Myanmar or Mandalay beer or if you seriously need to keep warm, try the local wine.

 

 

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Now, this I’ve got to mention. Myanmar produces good wine! Red Mountain Estate imported grape plants from France and the cool weather and mountain soil on this side of Lake Inle must have conspired to produce this local wine at par with its western counterparts. Who would have thought? I was hesitant at first. The local wine is priced at half what a Bordeaux or Rioja would have cost you. But good enough that one of us mistook it for a rioja. So next time you’re in this area, enjoy a bottle of shiraz or cab sauvignon from Myanmar. Piode!