According to Mr Myint, Chinatown should be approximately 10 to 15 minutes walk but it took us 20 minutes to find it! We walked passed Little India and thought that Chinatown would be after it. End up we gave in and asked for directions from the street vendors by the road looking who looks Chinese, I thought we’re in Chinatown already. I know I sound racist. The lady didn’t understand English and we were communicating like chickens and ducks. She pointed the direction and we roughly understood. We went back to the way we came and turned into the alley as directed by the old lady. We saw lights! Lots of lights! That must be Chinatown.
It looked like a night market with street vendors selling seafood, meat, vegetables, fruits and all kinds of stuff. So, we walked a bit more and decided to settle down at 19th Street where lots of local bbq restaurants were at.
19th Street is a street filled with bbq restaurauts and we saw many patrons were enjoying themselves to Myanmar beer along with some local dishes and bbq skewers. This must be it. Couldn’t decide which restaurant to step in to as there were so many of them and mostly packed! So, we just walk to the ones with vacant table which was Shwe Mingalar. (for some reason, I believe the whole row of shops belong to the same owner, just running under different shop names. lol)
We got ourselves seated and ordered our food of some local dishes and head over to the bbq counter which looks like a lok lok station where you choose veggies, seafood, chicken, beef, lamb, pork, innards and etc, then pass if to the waiter and they bring it into the kitchen to bbq and served to our table. We had pork intestines, ribs and more parts which were all so dem awesome that we went for a second round of it. There’s asparagus which was really good as well but it was the last stick when we took it. The squid was pretty tough, reckon they over cooked it..
These bbq stuffs are really delicious especially anything porkie! Goes dem well with the local Myanmar beer which is so cheap! Selling at Ks600 (approx. USD0.60) a mug, we had a total of…………*lost count* Saw another table order the black beer, which we guess is their local stout and we had one to share. It’s not my kind of stout. SO BITTER!
Luckily we had the bbq sticks! It took them like almost forever to prep the dishes. Must be due to all the high demand but low supply (meaning many orders but small kitchen). We had fried rice, some mix vegetables and hot and sour soup which looked and tasted very weird to us. We didn’t even finish it. The fried rice on the other hand is really appetizing, no comment on the veggies as we find both the fried rice and veggie were the same. One with and without rice. LOL
Dinner cost us Ks38,000 (approx. USD40) for all the bbq sticks, 3 dishes and 8 mugs of beers. We find it pricey for a local meal. We checked the bill and saw that the thing that cost so much were actually the bbq sticks. Good stuff is always not cheap. Nonetheless, we were satisfied with them all, except the soup of course.
After our dinner, we head over to 19th Street Kosan for drinks as we saw their banners promoting cocktails from Kyats 800 (approx. USD0.80) a glass!!!
The Ks800 cocktails are using local liquor and for cocktails with imported liquor mixture, the price was close to double at Ks1,500. Well, truth to be told, I would pay double the price for a legit drink. The local cocktails tasted like mocktails and there were not much alcohol kick in it. Heh.. We had 8 cocktails (6 locals, 2 imported) in total which costs us Kyats 13,400 (approx. USD13.40) only.
With 8 beers and 8 cocktails shared among 4 persons, we weren’t even high yet. Thought we saw something enormous due to alcohol on our way back…
Stumbled upon these GIANT durians at one of the fruit vendor and decided to take some crazy pictures before calling it a night.
All in all, we spent approximately USD45 per person in Day 1 which includes, taxi rides, food and drinks, entrance fees to pagoda and others, donations and Mr Myint (tour guide and driver for a day).
Mahar Bandoola Road
Kosan 19th St. Snack And Bar
No.108, 19th Street,
Beer Bar Street
GPS Coordinates: 16.774993, 96.149464