Minn Lan is not one of the most famous restaurants in Yangon, but it's definitely a favourite among Burmese locals. A dusty 30-minute drive out of the city, Minn Lann specializes in mainly seafood dishes from the Rakhine state of Myanmar, which is the state that occupies the western coastline of the country. I became aware of this temple to seafood after watching Mark Weins, an enigmatic food blogger, almost pass out from seafood ecstasy after trying the dishes from this area. His motto is "food should be the reason you travel", and for the most part I must agree. Perched on a lush green hill in an open air tree house-style pavilion, we were the only non-Burmese in the restaurant and were eyed with great curiosity by other diners and the young staff.
The word 'Beer' is universally understood, so we managed to summon up two cold bottles of Myanmar lager as we gazed longingly at the picture-book menu. Pointing to our selection of sumptuous seafood delicacies on the colourful menu made communicating our order effortless. With a nod and a smile, our server disappeared and awaited our seafood feast of grilled Myanmar Tiger Prawns, Soft Shell Crab Curry, Stirfried Squid, Sautéed Local Vegetables, Jasmine Rice and Rahkine-Style Noodles, some of which we shared with my little orange furry friend who sat discretely at my side through lunch. Twenty-five dollars later and having satisfied our seafood cravings, we bid "kyeizu ba" with our palms pressed together in front of our chest in thanks, and wend our way back to Yangon for an afternoon of shopping at Scott Market. Bliss.
On a hot humid afternoon, a cold Myanmar beer is like liquid heaven
The menu at Minn Lan Seafood has very good photos of each dish, making selections easy — what you see is what you get
A plate of BBQ Myanmar Tiger Prawns "had my name on it"
Stirfried squid with vegetables
Green chill sauce
A sweet rather than hot red chill sauce
Stirfried local vegetables with shrimp
Cold house made Rahkine-style noodles
These gorgeous tiger prawns were plump, juicy, perfectly cooked and about 8 delectable inches long
Soft Shell Crab Curry
My little friend was very attentive as our seafood dishes arrived, and was rewarded with a few tasty morsels of juicy squid