The first couple of days of my 3 week trip to Myanmar trip I spent in Yangon. With 7,5 million inhabitants, it’s a proper Asian big city, including all the traffic, lots of people and trash in the streets. Even though I am not a big fan of big cities, I didn’t mind Yangon! The Burmese people are very friendly and there are some great places to explore. One of my favourite places that I discovered was the Rangoon Tea House.
Unlike the traditional Myanmar tea houses, where you sit on small plastic chairs at wooden tables and can pick between tea and soft drinks, the Rangoon tea house brings a completely different experience. It’s a hip, clean place with lots of atmosphere.
This place definitely draws a lot of foreigners, but there were also heaps of local people. It was very busy on the Saturday night we went, but during the week it was a lot more quiet.
Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored in any way and only reflects my opinion 🙂
Finding the Rangoon Tea House
Like in every big Asian city, there are so many places to choose from when you are looking for something to eat. But thanks to the Myanmar Lonely Planet, I got a hold of this place. It came as a recommended choice and the text sounded very appealing.
The first time we walked around a lot before we finally found it. This was mainly due to the fatigue of the jet lag (it was the first day in the city) and our limited navigation skills 😉
The second time we were going out for a different, Vietnamese, restaurant. However, we only went out to find out the restaurant had dissapeared completely. The taxi driver couldn’t find our second pick so we ended up at the Rangoon tea house again 🙂 Which was not a punishment at all!
Check out below 5 reasons why I think that every traveller should visit the Rangoon Tea House (at least once 😉 ) while staying in Yangon.
#1 The Chicken Biryani
The lovely flavours and the great presentation makes this Chicken Biryani a true pleasure to eat! I had only eaten Biryani in India before and was pleasantly surprised with this version. Long, fragrant basmati rice, lots of herbs and spices, raisins, nuts and a delicious chicken thigh made this one of my favourite dishes of the trip.
Rangoon Tea House presents this dish in an exquisite way. The biryani comes in a pot that is covered with a thin pastry crust. The waitress cuts off the top for you, takes out the chicken thighs and mixes the rice and all other ingredients. From the moment the top comes off, I assure you, you will be dazzled by the awesome smell 🙂
After I raved about this dish in my tour group, a lot of people went back to the Rangoon Tea House the next day to try it as well. And thankfully, they loved it too 😉
#2 The Rangoon Blonde Beer
I love craft beers. And blonde beers. So I definitely love blonde craft beers 😉 Next to the famous Myanmar beer brand, which is widely consumed across the country, I was pleasantly surprised to find craft beers on the menu at Rangoon Tea House.
The one that caught my eye immediately was the Burbrit Rangoon Blonde Beer. In a cute bottle, this 5% beer was heavenly. It was a soft, easy to drink blonde beer with just right that amount of punch to make it interesting. I’m a fan, and didn’t keep to just one bottle 😉
#3 The Duck Empanadas
I first got to know empanadas in South-America, where they were on my daily menu 🙂 These stuffed pastries come in many shapes, sizes and with different fillings so it’s always a feast! Nowadays, when I see empanadas anywhere I get excited instantly. The Duck empanadas at the Rangoon Tea House were lovely. They were a tad small, but had great flavours and the pastry was lovely and crispy! You can order the empanadas in portions of 2 – we first ordered one portion but quickly added an extra portion 🙂 They come with a lovely spicy sauce.
#4 The cocktails
Getting a good cocktail is not always easy, but at the Rangoon Tea House this was not a problem! With a happy hour from 5-7, the selection of cocktails becomes even more appealing. During these hours, the price of cocktails halves (where as for the beer you get an extra one for free).
Although there is plenty to choose from, one of my group mates especially recommended the Spicy Caipirinha – an Asian take on the Brazilian classic! You see the cocktails on many tables in this restaurant and they look amazing!
#5 The Staff
The Burmese people are lovely. And the Rangoon Tea House did a great job of recruiting some of the friendliest people they could find 🙂 You are welcomed with a smile and that smile won’t disappear for the night. The staff is well trained – they are fast and efficient and you never have to wait long for your drinks.
Although some of the waiters and waitresses struggle a bit with English when you ask a question about a dish, you will always figure it out. If they cannot do it, they will find a colleague who will be able to answer your question 🙂
The costs of a meal
Main courses ranged from 3.000 Kyatt to 12.000 kyatt. Starters, snacks and salads were on the lower end, whilst the chicken biryani was on the higher end. As for the drinks, wine is very expensive, but a big bottle of Myanmar beer is really affordable. You get free, fresh mint-flavoured water for free straight when you arrive and it gets filled up along your meal. From Monday to Friday between 5pm and 7pm there is happy hours for the cocktails and the beers.
Especially the first evening we were very pleasantly surprised with the total bill. With 5 people, the whole bill came to 75.000 kyatt. This was 15.000 kyat each – which was about €9! We had a great meal and a couple of drinks in a great atmosphere.