Lahpet, Bethnal Green Road: Burmese eatery opens restaurant in Shoreditch
- Credit: Archant
With relatively few restaurants outside its home nation dedicated to the cuisine, Burmese food is a bit of a mystery to the average diner in the UK.
Taking advantage of this gap in the market is Lahpet, a street food kitchen in Spitalfields, which opened last year, and a newly launched restaurant on Bethnal Green Road in Shoreditch. The venture promises to offer authentic culinary delights from Myanmar ‘with a hint of refinement and contemporary flare’.
Burmese cuisine, to the uninitiated, reflects the country’s diverse mix of ethnicities, drawing on various nearby nations, including Thailand, China and India. The dishes, although different depending on the region, tend to feature strong, pungent flavours, texture and a host of accompaniments. Another common thread is the ubiquitous use of salads, which are usually crunchy, spicy and sour.
We took a trip to the Shoreditch restaurant last week, not long after its opening and, as expected in this part of town, the interiors are very muched geared to the young East London professional : Ercol-esque bar stools, lots of wood and green plants, industrial-style floor-to-ceiling windows etc - with a few south Asian touches thrown in.
The food? Well, we loved the salads, in particular the Lahpet, made with fermented tea leaves, sesame seeds, cabbage, chilli, peanuts, lime, onion and coriander. It was delicious and unlike anything I’ve had before. The Ginger Salad and Thick Rice Noodle salad were pretty great too.
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Among the starters we enjoyed a selection of fritters with a tamarind dip and the Yellow Pea Paratha, but were less enthused about the Steamed Balachaung Dumplings. They lacked flavour and the texture was a little odd.
For the mains I tried the Hake Masala with Lemongrass Rosti. The fish was cooked beautifully and the sauce, although very rich, was good. My friend had the Fried Bream with Morning Glory, which again was nicely cooked but, she felt, needed some kind of accompanying sauce. A neighbouring diner, meanwhile, spoke highly of the King Prawn Curry and Spring Greens (it did look pretty great). Other dishes on the Main Plates menu include Pork & Mustard Green Curry, Stuffed Aubergine and Pumpkin Stuffed with Wild Rice.
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We were too full to sample the desserts (you can choose from Anana & Semolina Cake, Ice Cream and Chocolate & Caramelised Peanut) but we did enjoy a couple of cocktails - a Lemongrass Mimosa and a Jaggery Old Fashioned.
Lahpet, 58 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6JW. For more information on Laphet visit lahpet.co.uk