With the exception of Parami Pizza, and L’Opera, good Italian food is hard to find in Yangon, so I was happy to learn that there was to be an Italian restaurant “E Cucina“, helmed by an Italian Chef (by way of Bangkok) in the new Pullman hotel, and put aside a lunchtime to go and visit with a friend recently.
We decided to share one of their set lunch menus ($19 for 2 courses) as well as an appetiser and a pizza from the main menu in order to really explore the menu in detail.
The meal started with complimentary bread, freshly baked each morning in house, with tapenade and a creamed artichoke dip. I’ll be honest, I would go back to E Cucina on the strength of the bread alone! Garlic pizza bread, excellent grissini, and fluffy focaccia which had sweet cherry tomatoes baked into it, you can see they have a talented baker in the kitchen, a rarity here in Yangon and something we relished.
From the set menu we chose Frittura Di Calamari – Fried Squid with Tartar Sauce – which was a little under seasoned but the tartar was well made and helped to cut through the batter, adding the necessary hit of flavour we had been hoping for.
Our appetiser choice from the main menu was the Formaggi Misti ($12) which was definitely one of the better cheese selections I have enjoyed in Yangon and reasonably portioned for the price with 4 different types of cheese, delicious honey, dried fruits (including gorgeous little baby figs) and nuts.
Carbonara ($13.50 on the A La Carte menu) is the true litmus test of any Italian kitchen and so when we saw that this was available as a main course on the set lunch menu, we knew we had to try it. Thankfully we were certainly not disappointed! Good quality spaghetti tossed in a rich, yolky sauce with mountains of pecorino and chunks of fatty, salty pancetta – simple perfection!
Our Pizza “La Cucina” ($13) came topped with burrata, Parma ham, rocket and cherry tomatoes. It was good enough, but sadly didn’t hit the highs of the pasta. Saying that the ingredients, especially the burrata, were of excellent quality – another rare treat here in Yangon!
We finished with an espresso and complimentary Tiramisu that was so good we quite forgot how full we were and managed to eat the lot with somewhat indecent haste!
All in all we had an enjoyable meal and I think I would probably return for a glass of wine and the cheese board, or their Carbonara again.
Expect to spend around $60 a head for a 2 course meal with wine.
**Since I visited they appear to have stopped serving lunch, opening for dinner only, something I imagine may continue until the end of monsoon season**
2nd Floor, The Pullman Hotel, 65 Corner of Sule Pagoda Road and Merchant Road, Kyauktada Township, 11182 Yangon