One of my favourite places for breakfast in Yangon is undoubtedly the Lucky Seven Tea Shop on the Corner of 49th Street and Anawata Road and I have become quite the regular there over the past few months.
Tea Shops can be quite frenetic and Lucky Seven is no exception, just walk in and find yourself a spare chair, don’t expect to have a table to yourself unless its particularly quiet, and help yourself to the free Chinese tea on the table whilst you wait for a copy of the menu.
Unlike many local tea shops, Lucky Seven does in fact have an English menu, as well as photos of most of their dishes, making it an ideal place to ease yourself into local cafe culture without feeling too intimidated or overwhelmed.
Snacks like Samosa, Chinese Pao and Dim Sum are placed on the tables for people to help themselves too, you will of course be charged for anything you take so do choose wisely! From observation, they seem to have quite a quick turnaround here and so are probably entirely fine to eat but if you are concerned just order one from the menu and they can bring a fresh one from the kitchen.
Here is a selection of things I have eaten at Lucky Seven, whilst there generally aren’t prices on the menus, at no point did any of my meals come to over 2000 MMK ($1.70) so you don’t need to worry about prices too much.
The Mohinga at Lucky Seven is one of the best I have tried so far and is probably the dish I have eaten there the most. Rice noodles are served in a bowl of slow cooked, spiced, fish broth which you can choose to garnish with everything from a boiled egg to fishcake, although my personal preferences are the split pea and fried onion fritters as I love the added crunch! I add all the coriander it is served with, as well as a good squeeze of lime and some of the dried, crushed chilli that is part of the condiment set on every table. Mohinga is eaten with the Chinese style soup spoon it comes served with, don’t ask for chopsticks!
A common street side dish, Samosa salad is probably safer eaten in a restaurant as the hygiene levels are better, the Lucky Seven version is pleasingly fresh and tasty! Made using the classic vegetarian samosa, the only difference from what you may be used to is the use of slightly sweetened dough. The samosas are chopped up and served with shredded cabbage, tomatoes, tiny little chilis and a couple of spoons of spiced lentil broth. I like to take the mint leaves off the stalk and add more crushed, dried chili as well as a squeeze of lime and a little salt to balance out the sweeter samosa, as well as picking out the chilis to enjoy one by one instead of accidentally getting several in one mouthful as I did the first time I ate it!
Nan Gyi Thohk
A “Thohk” is a local salad and unusually, perhaps, these often involve room temperature noodles. At Lucky Seven the Nan Gyi Thohk is made with round rice noodles (Nan Gyi) which are tossed in a chicken and coconut curry sauce that has been thickened with chickpea flour and stirred through with chunks of chicken, fresh herbs, hard boiled egg and crispy noodles on top for added texture. This ubiquitous local dish is often known as “Burmese Spaghetti” and along with the other dishes mentioned here is best served with a good squeeze of lime and crushed chilli.
Prata and Lentil Curry
I have to be honest, I have not been overly impressed with the prata in Yangon, they pale into comparison with the Singaporean, Thai and Malaysian versions I have tried. Lucky Seven seems to use a sweetened dough and cuts them up into small pieces making it harder to eat the curry without resorting to cutlery. The Lentil Curry also seemed curiously sweet to my taste and I was thankful this is a smaller portion than most of the other dishes i have tried there. A good, safe Veggie option but not one I would order again
Prata and Potato Curry
Another pleasant enough vegetarian dish, although to be honest I would stick with the samosa salad. The prata is served with a tart tamarind sauce, chopped onion and coriander and a light, mild potato curry. Perfectly fine but other dishes like the Nan Gyi Thok and the Mohinga are truly delicious so unless you really have a prata craving there are definitely better things to order here in my opinion.
Along with 999 Shan Noodles, Lucky Seven is definitely up there with local foodie experiences that no-one visiting Yangon should miss out on! What local dishes have you tried? Which was your favourite?
Corner of Anawata and 49th Street