The last time I was in Kits, while waiting in line at Chewies, I spied across the street a new restaurant. Yes, that is me. Instead of checking out the nice cars parked on the street or the pretty ladies (aren't you proud of me Viv???), I was leering at an eating establishment with only one thing in mind... Food! The place I was eying up and down was Rangoon. Burmese food eh? Now really, I don't have much experience with Burmese food because it is not widely available in the GVRD. Other than Bo Laksa King's Bubble & Bits, there really isn't anywhere else.
So the whole Summer passed and with Winter looming, I got an email from the chef at Rangoon inviting myself and a guest to try out their food. They didn't have to ask twice as I made my way down there with Miss Y. Now here I go into my rant about authenticity again... Like any business, Rangoon exists to make money. Therefore, if we examine the menu, we will see things like NY Striploin and some fusions items. I can hear the food snobs crying foul already. I will even speak on their behalf, "When I was in Burma... I never tried anything like this... So unauthentic... this place sucks!". Okay, we're not in Burma and neither do most people have the spare funds to buy a ticket to fly there. We are in Vancouver folks. The food is what it is and it is there to satisfy the higher percentage of customers. If you want complete authenticity, then go fly to Burma. I digress.
So on that note, we started with a fusion dish being the Shrimp Avocado Rolls. These consisted of avocado, green onion, lettuce, shrimp and house sauce wrapped in rice paper topped with grated Parmesan. The whole thing was rather soft, but the crunchy lettuce provided some textural contrast. We thought that it lacked acidity, so we got a lemon wedge and that really brought the roll to life. Next up were the Moroccan Lamb Sausages which were really good. There was not much gaminess while the meat was moist with a slight spice. Moving along, we had the Spicy Squid and Mushrooms (oyster and button). The squid was tender being just cooked with a slight snap. The dish wasn't as spicy as we would've liked, but I'm sure they were keeping it mild.
Now the best dish hands-down was the Chicken Salad. This one had a wonderful spice level where it really melded with the tang and savouriness. The large slices of chicken breast were moist which was a nice contrast to the crunch of the cucumber. Rounding out the ingredients were tomato, red onion and cilantro. Onto the mains, we had 2 fish dishes starting with the Sockeye Salmon with a cream, bacon, mushroom and white wine sauce. The salmon was cooked too much for our liking as it became dense. However, the sauce was pretty tasty as it was rich, smoky and creamy. The other dish was the Ling Cod with a olive, garlic and wine sauce. The cod was cooked better than the salmon (yet still slightly overdone) and it really soaked up the tasty sauce. There was a sweet and salty thing going on with just enough impact from the olives. We liked how the sauce did not mask the natural flavour of the fish.
Lastly, we were presented with the Polish Cheesecake. This was definitely different than what we were used to since it was drier and less dense than its New York counterpart. Despite originating in Poland, I still prefer the more typical New York style. Now if you were keeping score, we had Burmese, Moroccan, Polish and everything in between for this meal. So should it be named Rangoon? Probably not, because that just might further confuse everyone. The bottom line is that there were some good eats to be found. Could there be some improvements? Sure, as with most places. But I think the biggest issue is that there may not be enough Burmese dishes to reflect the restaurant's namesake. Unfortunately, that is probably a reflection of the market they must cater to.
- If we only look at the food from a purely taste standpoint, there are some good flavours at work
- For the one true Burmese dish we tried, it was good
- It's too bad the menu looks confused because they must cater to a wide range of tastes
- The proteins could stand to be cooked a bit less