Last Thursday some classmates and I traveled down to Chinatown to indulge in some of the best food North 9th Street has to offer. Rangoon is a small, unassuming Burmese restaurant located on 9th between Arch and Cherry, where one of my fellow diners had her first date with her husband over 10 years ago— now I know why they stayed together! The food was excellent, flavorful and rich, and the service was warm and friendly. Plus it’s a BYOB. What more could you want? The atmosphere is not romantic, but great for groups. Plus, you’ll want to bring some friends so you can try a lot of different things!
What is Burmese food, you might be asking? I didn’t have the faintest idea. The menu rolled out like the best aspects of Chinese, Thai, and Indonesian food. Among the 5 of us we ordered a ton, so we got to try a lot of their varied but consistently delicious dishes.
I ordered the crispy taro root as an appetizer. I’ve only really had taro at dim sum before, and it is usually prepared in more of a patty fashion. This was so tasty— kind of like a fancy taro french fry, with some mild but flavorful dipping sauce.
Also, doesn’t it just look fun? Kind of like a wacky french fry puzzle.
Another favorite at the table was the golden triangles— very similar to a samosa. These were filled with curried potatoes. I didn’t get a bite, but I heard (and smelled) they were delish!
Burmese Cold Noodles, said to be a “must have” were definitely yummy, though wasn’t my absolute favorite dish of the night. They were light and refreshing, a great summer dish to be sure.
One of my favorites of the night was definitely the Banana Leaf Fish. Cooked in a large banana leaf, this fresh and flaky white fish was served with tons of vegetables and a delightful coconut sauce. You can’t quite see it in there— but the fish was cooked perfectly—and the sauce was amazing.
I didn’t get any more great pictures, but everything that I tasted was so very yummy. The spicy string beans were reminiscent of typical Szechuan string beans— spicy and crunchy and good. The spicy curry potato was a vegetarian dish layered with flavor. The Pagan beef was spicy but subtle. But my absolute favorite dish of the night was definitely the Pork with Mango Curry. Oh. Wow. I could immerse myself in this full-bodied, savory, creamy sauce and be completely content. Sopping up all the different flavors became incredibly important as I added some more rice onto my plate as a vehicle for the Mango Curry. This dish is a reason to go back— now!
I wish that I had tried the Thousand Layer bread— it was highly recommended by many people, and supposed to be exquisite. We had so many dishes on our roster that the bread somehow got scrapped. Luckily I can say with confidence that I will be back at Rangoon, and the Thousand Layer bread will top my order. You should go, too!