TRAVEL: Biruma no tategoto (The Burmese Harp) @ Ebisu (恵比寿), Tokyo

Burmese Cuisine.

What summed up this interesting night out over beer was the hospitality of foreign nationalities away from their home country in Tokyo.

Over food and laughter.

Biruma no Tategoto Address: 2-8-13 Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan

New cuisine introduction, maybe a little unauthentic but anticipated.

Who would have thought? Where a Little Burma exists in Peninsula Plaza (in Singapore) much to my surprise. As informed by Burmese acquaintances in Japan!  Clueless as I am to the Burmese community in my own home country.

As I tried to Google information of the restaurant I only know exists in Ebisu.

The shop name churned up a movie of the same title.

Yet, the image of the Burmese Harp. Etched in my mind.

A Burmese Harp.

I remember the friendly chef and owner of this restaurant. Sharing horror food stories of the Burmese war time poor.

Morbid as it sounds, I enjoyed every moment of the time shared understanding yet another new culture within a already new culture. You get my gist.

Between the older generation and the young, born in Myanmar, deeply patriotic to their culture and country. Buddhist in many ways. Born in different turbulent times. Yet Japanese in their own unique way.

It made me rethink my appreciation of food, to remember the poor and of wars I do not know of or be able to comprehend.

Interestingly, the son of the owner is in Japanese Entertainment as the table had shared and the owner admits.

So quietly humble in his own way, looking on unspoken joy of all of us eating his food. And enjoying it.

The familiar communal sharing of food, strangely comforting and the coming together of different nationalities.

Can I say, in that moment I felt I was in my own Bourdain moment. Yes.

Learning, digesting, eating. Feeling.

Migrants who left and made it on their own. Willingly sharing bits of their life stories.

Where was I in the fabric of all these? When my grandparents first built up a home out of nothing for the children, now my aunts and uncles? In an entirely different landscape of what Singapore then.

Who were my great grandparents in China?

In that perspective, I was living in the ‘Now’ through my unspoken realisations.

Embroidery galore, of clothed images of Myanmar culture in the restaurant.

The smell of spice and welcome hot food on a chilly night.

Pickled Tea Leaf Salad (Lahpet Thoke) A savory crunchy salad consisting of  tomatoes, fried peas and peanuts, can be eaten with rice

I think this would be a tweaked version of a Mohinga. The national dish of Myanmar. Essentially rice noodles in a rich, spicy fish soup. I remember a mild tumeric taste.

Burmese tofu fritters (hpu gyaw ) eaten with a spicy sweet sauce on the side.

This is where I am fighting hard to remember the dishes.

A tomato based chicken dish which reminded me a of braised sweet and sour sauce. Possibly, (Cho chin gyaw) a Sweet and sour dish of meat or fish with vegetables.

A Pork dish with Fried flat bread accompaniment.

If the photographs are blurry, suffice to say I was more than busy eating and listening, to documenting the entire experience.

Multi tasking #Fail.

Ebisu via the Subway


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