Food and drink: Sharky’s Downtown (Yangon)
Sharky’s are no strangers to Yangon’s restaurant scene and their restaurant on Dhammazedi Road has attracted tourists, expats and diplomats alike for years. In fact, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was said to order goats cheese from them during her period under house arrest. If anything, that alone pays remarkable testament to the restaurant’s reputation and outstanding commitment to quality.
Only a stone’s throw away from the iconic Port Authority building, Sharky’s newest addition is located in the heart of downtown, making it a convenient stop for anyone looking to sample their delectable, homegrown organic produce mid-tour.
The dishes served at Sharky’s are all European in-style, which may come as a disappointment for those looking to devour Myanmar cuisine throughout. Don’t let that put you off however, as the majority of ingredients served here are mostly organic and it is all produced right here in Myanmar. Seeing as the concept of organic farming is pretty much non-existent out here, what they have managed to achieve is extremely impressive.
The brain child behind the idea is a U Ye Htut Win (also known as Sharky), who spent a decade hurdling the obstacles of producing European food in the tropics. With 20 years worth of Swiss catering experience under his belt, his dream was finally realised and the business has quickly become one of the most sought-after suppliers of fresh produce in Yangon.
On a recent ‘undercover’ inspection to the restaurant, Tour Mandalay went all out and ordered the following (we hope the photographs will do the talking!).
Now imagine that it’s your first full day in Yangon, you’re jet-lagged, your senses are slowly adjusting to the crowds, traffic and noise. We can guarantee that a stop here will quickly help you to forget about all of that!
The restaurant interior has been cleverly designed to make the most of the building’s colonial style features. With tall exposed walls, steel beams, polished concrete floor and handmade wooden benches, it evokes a strong sense of upmarket rustic charm (a bit like the food we might add!).
The restaurant also has access to an impressive selection of imported wine. Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to sample any this time around, but we have been assured that a bottle of the entry red perfectly compliments their signature meat and cheese platter.
Due to its slightly ‘out of the way’ location, we feel the Dhammazedi restaurant never received the praise and recognition it deserved among tourists (that’s not to say it wasn’t successful!); at the time of writing for example, they were placed number 40 out of 376 restaurants in Yangon. That’s just absurd! Then again, unless you’re an expat, or hotel guest at the Savoy Hotel, it’s unlikely you would have found your way here seeing as it’s a bit out of the way and there’s often a lot of traffic leading up to it. We hope the new restaurant helps to rectify that.
In a country not known for quality, fresh and organic produce, what Sharky’s are doing right now is revolutionary and we hope the inevitable success of their downtown branch will help to encourage more locally owned food businesses to follow suit. There is quite simply nothing like it and to quote a client who recently ate here, “This restaurant wouldn’t look out of place in London’s Borough Market’. Now that’s quite the accolade as we’re sure you’ll agree.
Whether it’s the Dhammazedi branch or downtown, be sure to pay Sharky’s a visit now – we are confident you won’t be disappointed.
Address: 81 Pansodan (Lower), Yangon
Opening hours: 09:00 – 22:00