Personally, I’m totally about Responsible Tourism, so when I heard about a social business that trains financially disadvantaged Myanmar youth for FREE, looking to pursue a career in the country’s hospitality industry and provides some of the BEST meals in Yangon….I just had to go!
So on our last night in Yangon, we ordered a taxi to Shwe Sa Bwe.
The concierge at Savoy Hotel Yangon, explained in Burmese to our driver how to get there. We were told it was located close to the north shore of Inya Lake. The driver seemed to know where to go and off we went.
10 minutes later we were on Parami Road and lost. The driver couldn’t find the place. We were running late and had no reservations. I was hoping we could make it before they closed. We were starved.
Myanmar taxi driver’s aren’t as equipped as other drivers elsewhere. We never noticed any of them using a GPS. Internet is somewhat new and most of the mobile phones have limited to no internet service.
We drove up and down Parami Road a good 4 times. The driver asked random people on the street, but no luck.
He parked on the side of the road and started to call a couple of friends and fellow taxi drivers to see if they could help. It didn’t seem anyone knew right away.
Some 5 minutes later, another phone call and Bingo! He was told where to go.
Down Parami Road we went one more time. But this time he knew where to turn, on to what looks like a narrow residential street, away from the main roads.
It seemed an odd street for fine dining.
Good thing our driver drove slowly. We came across a sign that says Shwe Sa Bwe, which could have been easily missed. So we turned in.
10 minutes before closing time, we finally made it to this beautifully converted villa.
At the entrance, we were greeted by one of the hosts. He asked us to kindly wait, while he checked with the chef if they could still accept more guests since it was close to closing time.
I said a little prayer that they would take us in. I was famished and hadn’t eaten much the last couple of days due to Burma Belly. I was really looking forward to a good meal. Plus it was so late, where else would we go? We didn’t know the area and our driver had already left.
We waited, in what seemed like a living room with an old world feel. It had lovely parquet floors, Burmese furniture and decor.
The host quickly came back with a smile from ear to ear and thankfully he had a yes for us!! My prayers had been answered!
We were ushered to our table and our unforgettable dining experience began.
Shwe Sa Bwe, which means Golden Table in Burmese, is a French owned, European style restaurant training center.
The rooms are low-lit, intimate and painted in tones of red and green. There is a relaxing homey feel to the place.
The restaurant itself isn’t very large. There’s a dining area with about 4 tables and glass doors to a courtyard.
They have a room for private or larger parties with black and white photos of the staff and students.
When we arrived there were 2 other tables of guests. But shortly after, those guests left and we had the entire place to ourselves.
It was pretty neat being the only ones there and it allowed us to take in all the great details of the chic little restaurant.
Throughout the location there are little nooks with liquor stations and lovely eclectic decorations.
We sat down at our cozy corner table and were handed the menu which changes regularly depending on what’s in season.
It’s a set menu with 2 course, 3 course and cheese plate options.
Before getting our selected dishes, the restaurant supplied a yummy appetizer of cheese and grilled veggies. What a nice touch and great way to commence the feast.
I went for the 2 course which costs 35,000 Kyat (approximately $26.00 USD). Yes, just $26.00!! Ok it’s expensive by Myanmar standards. But not for fine-dinning!
For my starter plate, I selected the mushroom veloute with crumbled bacon, truffle chantilly and a sesame bread stick.
OMG it was so good! I could have easily licked the bowl…but we were at fancy place and although no one else was dining there, I would never lick the bowl…at least in public.
My main course selection was the roasted pork loin with a black and white pepper cream and served along side sauteed new potatoes and mushrooms. What can I say about this? It was pure perfection! Perfectly cooked.
My friend went with the 3 course meal which costs 39,000 Kyats (approximately $29.00 USD). Again, 3 course fine dining for $29.00 USD! Say what?!? It’s a steal.
His starter was a delicious goat cheese panacotta and walnut crumble salad with ponzu dressing.
I’m happy to say I have a generous friend who lets me try what he orders. I’ve never tasted goat cheese like this. It was amazing.
For the main dish he went for the veal tenderloin with a nut crust, green pea mousse, roasted bell peppers and a dark chocolate sauce. This master piece was amazing! The combination of flavors worked so well together.
And for dessert he opted for the sweetly satisfying praline crumble cake stuffed with melted chocolate, a side of cocoa gelato and custard cream. It was like making love to your spoon. That’s how good it was!
At the end of our dinner, the restaurant sent complimentary chocolate mousse to the table. Truly amazing and probably the best chocolate mousse I’ve ever tried.
What a way to end the meal!
During our dinner we noticed such attention to detail, not just with the food preparation and presentation, but also with the service.
We had a warm and attentive wait staff taking care of us through out the different courses.
The decor, atmosphere, service and food made for a memorable experience.
Shwe Sa Bwe is rumored to be the best fine dining in Yangon for the price. And although I haven’t been to many other fine dining restaurants in Yangon, I think the rumor is a fact!
What makes it so much better is that it trains for FREE underprivileged students who go on to work at some of the city’s best hotels and restaurants.
If you want to feel good about eating good, check out Shwe Sa Bwe in Yangon! You won’t be disappointed.