Styled as one of Yangons’ fancier Myanmar restaurants and housed in a newly renovated traditional teak house, don’t let the “fine dining” tag put you off, in reality this just means you get to sit inside in an air-conditioned room, on chairs instead of plastic stools and wine and cocktails are available as well as beer (go for a bottle or stick to the beer, the wine by the glass leaves much to be desired.) Whilst not my favourite of the local restaurants, I lean more towards Aung Thukha, Nam Dhao Kham and Feel Myanmar, Shan Yoe Yar is never the less a safe bet to take visiting guests to for dinner owing to their extensive & interesting Shan menu.
As with all Myanmar restaurants, it is better to order a section of dishes to share as this is how the food is intended to be eaten. Portions are generally pretty large but I still tend to deliberately over so I can show my friends a good selection of dishes – they have takeaway packaging available in case you wish to do the same!
Of all the dishes I have tried, these are some of the most interesting.
Kyaing Tong – Spicy Northern Style Sausage
Kyaing Tong is the name of a town in Shan state, famed for making Kyaingtong Wet-oo- Jaun, a type of spicy pork sausages, not a million miles away from the Thai Sai Oua. I think they are the perfect little nibble to start the meal off with and there are not many better accompaniments for a chilled Myanmar beer than this slightly spicy, salty sausage. Ignore the sweet chilli sauce it is served with and just eat it with the fried garlic chips that are scattered over the top.
Inlay Style Pork and Banana Bud Curry
Don’t worry if you don’t like spicy food, the curries that I have tried at Shan Yoe Yar are more softly spiced, almost like wintery European stews, albeit with slightly more exotic ingredients. The combination of roasted spices in Myanmar is quite unlike anywhere else I have been and the resulting curries are really quite unique.
Nga Htamin Chin
Curries aren’t served with rice or noodles so I would recommend trying something a bit different and ordering the Shan style fish rice. Fish is cooked until it breaks down into flakes and is added to cooked rice, mashed potato and a little tomato. It sounds strange but is actually really good! Make sure you eat the chive roots and chilli paste for extra flavour.
One of my favourite appetisers is this Shan Tomato Paste that is served with raw vegetable crudités, perfect for nibbling on whilst you enjoy a cool beer and plough through the rest of the ginormous menu trying to decide what to order!
Leek Root & Dry Soy Bean Salad
I love the flavour of the leek/chive roots that are often served as an accompaniment with broth or the rice as you can see in my earlier photos so to see a whole salad made from them was great! The flavour is really interesting, and hard to explain to be honest (antiseptic? that doesn’t sound appealing though) but this salad is a great way to showcase them.
Tofu & Mustard Leaves
Another plus of Shan Yoe Yar is that they have a lot of vegetarian, even vegan dishes on the menu. It is still worth asking “Thetalo” (literally this mean “lifeless”) for things that appear to be vegetarian as you never know when fish sauce or dried shrimps are going to make an appearance. Whilst most of the other tofu dishes on the menu are local Myanmar style tofu (made with chickpea flour) this is a classic soft soy bean tofu with chilli and mustard leaves.
***Information on Burmese food is still quite hard to come by but you can follow @BurmeseBeyond by MiMi Aye (the source of literally all of my food recommendations during my 2014 trip to Yangon) on Facebook if you are keen to know more!***
No. 169, Wa Dan Street, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Phone +95 1 221 524
Open daily · 6AM–10PM – Reservations recommended as they get very busy with larger tour groups (especially in high season, between October – March)