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This pop-up brings Burmese cuisine to Hong Kong for three months only

Written by
Craig Sauers

We've got plenty of Thai, Indian and Nepalese restaurants in Hong Kong, but rarely will you find a restaurant specialising in Burmese food. That's about to change, at least for a little while. 

For the next three months, Hong Kong-born Ivan Pun of Pun + Projects notoriety is bringing an outpost of his brand-new Burmese brasserie, The Pansodan, to Sai Ying Pun. Located next to Potato Head and named after bustling Pansodan Street in Yangon, the pop-up puts Burmese plates and botanical-driven cocktails in the spotlight, giving our SAR a taste of a cuisine that has remained mostly off the radar until now.

Sitting at the crossroads of China, India and Thailand, Myanmar is a historic centre of trade and cross-cultural influence. Not to mention it's home to a huge number of ethnic groups, from the Karen to the Shan and the Bamar. That one-of-a-kind makeup has graced the country with a radically diverse cuisine, one that leans heavily on fermentation: fish sauce, shrimp paste, pickled tea leaves and more. 

Burmese food is tart, spicy, funky, aromatic, lively — in short, unlike any other cuisine on Earth. That should have you salivating, even if you've never tried Burmese dishes like lahpet thoke (pickled tea leaf salad), mohinga (tangy rice noodle and fish soup) or khao swe (soup made with egg noodles, curried beef or chicken, and coconut milk), the cousin to northern Thailand's khao soy. 

At The Pansodan pop-up, expect set menus featuring dishes bursting with spices and herbs like lemongrass, turmeric, tamarind and ginger, as well as those fermented sauces and pastes. Of course, you won't be eating on a plastic stool, so expect a higher degree of execution here. That means Burmese pâté on black pepper crisps, chickpea and potato samosas served with chutney and an herbaceous slaw, and Shan-style tofu noodles with chicken, tomatoes and aromatics. You can also expect some vibrant cocktails to pair with the food, too. They should keep you cool in our suddenly sweltering summer weather. 

No stone is left unturned, either. Despite The Pansodan sticking around for only three months, Pun + Projects has gone all-in on the décor. Hong Kong artist Laura Cheung has decorated the wallpaper with her hand-painted designs while the interiors feature lots of rattan, cane and colourful accents. 

The Pansodan is open from 6pm-11pm Tuesday to Saturday (6pm-10pm on Sunday), with brunch service available on weekends from 12pm-3pm. Email to book a table, which is something you most definitely should do. Trust us on this one.

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