Myanmar Diary: The Real Burma Superstar
Myanmar is located at the crossroads of South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, so it’s no surprise that Burmese food is a dazzling blend of Asian flavors. Some dishes are overtly influenced by the country’s larger neighbors, India and China. Others call to mind the freshness and zing of Vietnamese, Thai, and Indonesian flavors. The markets we visited were like a feast for the senses: peanuts drying out in the sun, the pungent aroma of dried fish, rows and rows of colorful fabrics for longyis (the traditional Burmese wrap skirt), heaping mounds of red chilies, where only slight color differentiates mild from your-mouth-will-be-burning-for-days.
I’m not unfamiliar with Burmese cuisine, as I’m lucky to have a few Burmese restaurants in my backyard, such as San Francisco’s renowned Burma Superstar. One of my most rewarding meals in Myanmar was at a restaurant that supports Burmese street kids by offering training in hospitality and food services. LinkAge, founded in 2012, is located off a busy Yangon street in the Sule district. After you walk up a nondescript stairwell, you enter a cheery orange room with local Burmese artwork covering the walls. It feels cozy, with only a few tables. We enjoyed our meal with the breeze blowing in from the balcony and the cacophony of daily life below. This was the real Burma Superstar, halfway around the world.
To view our varied trips to Myanmar, click here.