The real deal: the fuss-free fit-out at Sun's Burmese Kitchen. Photo: Fiona Morris
A quiet, carpeted eatery at the end of a nondescript row of shops, Sun's has skipped the flash fit-out to focus on delivering authentic Burmese cuisine. Run by husband-and-wife team Sun Myint Aung and Lyn, it's homely, humble, and undeniably good value, with every dish $10 or less.
On the advice of Lyn, who runs the floor with warmth and without fuss, we order ''fried shrimp and onion'' to start. It's street food's attempt at lacework; a crunchy crisscross of whole prawn and onion strips, with a tamarind-tangy dipping sauce on the side.
Lyn's next tip is for their most popular dish, chicken danbauk, Myanmar's version of biryani. The chicken on the bone, buried under a mound of rice, is straightforward comfort food, but it's the sides we're more excited about. There's a fresh, feisty salad of cucumber, pineapple, onion, chilli and lime, a sour soup - similar in taste to Thailand's tom yum - that gets its tartness, we're told, from rosella leaf, and balachaung, a chilli and dried shrimp condiment for those craving danbauk with extra kick.
Chicken danbauk with soup, salad and balachaung. Photo: Fiona Morris
Pan thay khauk swe, fried noodles with dry chicken curry, is aromatic with cumin and the kind of slow-build chilli that lures you with an impression of mildness and hits you with heat the more you eat.
Next, we fling our taste buds a curve ball with lahpet thoat. The preserved tea leaf salad has an unusual mustiness punctuated by slices of raw garlic, nuts, sesame seeds and more. It wouldn't be a stretch to call it an acquired taste but as a Burmese classic, it's worth ordering. Sun's also sells an imported packaged version of the salad, along with various other Burmese pantry products.
Sticking to the tea theme - an assured palate-soother is Burmese tea, traditionally very sweet, and listed here in the desserts section of the menu, alongside kulfi (Indian ice-cream) and faluda (a kind of kulfi milkshake).
While Lyn looks after front-of-house, Sun Myint is in the kitchen, putting to practice skills passed on from his aunt, and polished on the couple of return visits he's made to Myanmar since settling in Australia 18 years ago. This restaurant is his second after several years in other jobs, and he believes this time more Sydney diners are ready for authentic Burmese. We think he might be right.
Do … go with a group for a feast.
Dish … Sun's chicken danbauk
Vibe … A homely hideaway that's shoestring-budget friendly.
- Cuisine - Asian
- Prices - Entrees $6-$7; mains $8-$10; desserts $3-$4.50.
- Owners - Sun Myint Aung, Lyn
- Cards accepted - Cash
- Opening Hours - Wed-Fri, 5-8.30pm, Sat, 9am-8pm, Sun, 10am-8.30pm; closed first Sunday each month
- Author - Angie Schiavone