The curries, fritters and use of potatoes and flat bread seemed Indian, while the basil, peanut sauce and lemongrass were clearly Thai. I'd say that most of the dishes leaned towards the Indian camp, though.
We ordered an appetizer of bar-b-q beef with thousand layer bread, which was kabobs of grilled beef, onions and peppers served over a buttery flat bread (almost like a hammered out Pillsbury biscuit). We also had Rangoon night market noodles, which were very plain, though not surprising since this has been described as food for workers. The noodles were egg and had a light sprinkling of scallions and pork and an oil dressing. It came with a spicy, vinegary cabbage carrot condiment, but I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be added or eaten separately like a slaw. Additionally, we tried the pork with mango pickle curry, which was a curry of the thin soupy variety that goes well with lots of rice.
James ordered Burmese tea since it was freezing outside, and I didn't realize until after left that it was on the dessert menu. That made sense since it was sweet and rich from condensed milk. What I didn't get was why the tea was a creamy orange-pink color. I assumed it was from whatever spices were in it, but who's to say.
I'd heard that Burmese food tended to be bland. Maybe bland wasn't the exact word, but I'd agree that the flavors are not strong. Nothing was heavily spiced or kicky. Many of the dishes appeared fairly straightforward and simple, but this wasn't disappointing. There just weren't any extremes such as hot, sweet or tangy, which I'm usually drawn to. It's the kind of thing where you need to sample more than just a few items before coming to any conclusions. I certainly can't say that my first meal of 2001 was a bust. (1/1/01)
Burmese, Cambodian, Laotian-it's all southeast Asian food that I'm not experienced enough with to be nit picky. I don't think the NYC renditions are all that remarkable, so I wish I had more time to explore the menu at Rangoon. I'm intrigued by the salads, particularly the tea leaf one. I think I prefer Thai, but I'd probably choose Burmese over Indian. It's hard to resist a their thousand layer bread with potato curry dip, which is really the same thing as Malaysian roti canai. And they serve inexpensive wine, which is a plus if you have your vegetarian visiting-from-England sister and her boyfriend in tow. Those Brits like to drink (and eat lots of tofu). (4/29/04)
Rangoon* 112 North Ninth St., Philadelphia, PA