Yangonites were treated to a taste of Bangkok living with the opening of new mega mall, Junction City, earlier this year. I’m not really much of a “shopper” however the lure of the Food Streat (sic) the 5th floor food court, numerous restaurants & most importantly, good aircon, have proved themselves increasingly invaluable as rainy season progresses.
For just a few thousand Kyat (a couple of dollars) you can enjoy everything from Burmese curries & noodles to dim sum, pizza, pasta and other international & local dishes. My favourite stalls in the food court are Parami Pizza Express, 999 Shan Noodles, Buthee & Imperial Garden Dim Sum, however if you have a bit more cash to splash, and prefer a restaurant environment (yes, I do mean they serve beer) then Ippudo Ramen has to be my pick of the restaurants.
The menu is very much the Ippudo standard with appetisers from around 3,000 MMK + ($2.20) including Gyoza, Boiled Dumplings, a Vegetable Stir-fry & Cucumber Salad, and a choice of around 4 different Ramen that are available both in medium (served with noodles and 2 slices of pork) and large (4 slices of pork and all the additional toppings from seaweed to fungus and a nitamago soft boiled egg) from around 9,000 MMK – 13,000 MMK ($7 to $9.50)
I garnished my medium Akamura Ramen, with additional seaweed & an egg, for less than the price of the larger portion which made sense for me as I didn’t want the additional slices of pork. My first spoonful showed I needn’t have been worried as to whether or not the famous broth would be up to scratch. Rich, unctuous and decidedly piggy, I was left wondering as to why they offered an additional top up of noodles and not the broth as mine was finished all too quickly!
On subsequent visits I have also tried the Vegetable Stir-fry, a steal at 3,000 MMK, perfect when you aren’t hungry enough for a huge bowl of ramen, and the Cucumber Salad, also 3,000 MMK, which is a good little appetiser although the ramen is served so quickly it isn’t really necessary to order an appetiser unless you are ravenous!
My only slight niggle is the 3,000 MMK beer (for a mug!) which is steep when you consider that places like 50th Street and Union generally charge around 2,200 MMK for theirs. Not a huge difference but big enough to persuade me to stick to the 1,500 MMK refillable iced green tea in future, which can only be a good thing!
5th Floor, Junction City
Corner of Bogyoke Rd & Shwedagon Pagoda Road