Kalyana has got it goin on. I do not know how familiar you are with Burmese food, but let me tell you, it has a lot to offer. I, personally, had never tried it before stumbling upon the little gem over by the Airport link on the Road that run past Central (Ratchaprarob Rd). You can spot it by the glowing purple sign out front that reads, Kalyana. It is a cute little restaurant, brightly lit with cute little different colored umbrellas hanging from the ceiling and a breathtaking picture of hot air balloons floating over the Myammar countryside that really adds to the feel of the place. You will most definitely be greeted by the owners, Rosan and Ram. Both from Myammar, they have been running this restaurant for just over two years now, and it is starting to gain steam as the word is getting out. It is not hard to see why, the food is amazing.
I have to say, I was impressed with Kalyana. It tastes similar to Indian, but without the extreme heat. Its still spicy but on a lower level. I quite liked it. I felt like it gave me more opportunity to enjoy the flavors and spices of the food. And try the food, I Did! It was all new to me so I kind of went on a rampage and wanted to try everything they had. A task I almost completed, not quite, but almost.
The first thing I want to mention is their Samosa. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first. I have had samosa in Indian restaurants and I am not a big fan. They always taste so dry and full of potato and just bland, not my cup of tea. Kalyana’s samosas are different and easily the best I have ever had in my life. I have been there twice and ordered two orders each time. They are that good. Theirs are moist or wet inside and super delicious with lots of flavor bursting out of them. I cannot say enough about how good these are. If you are a fan of samosa, I highly recommend you get on over there and try them out.
Next up was the Mohinga Soup. This soup is the Bomb!!! It like no other soup I have had before and doesnt look like much when it is served up, but once you doctor it up with all the goodiness served on the side, you have a piece of art. It is beautiful. You add in your noodles, coriander, green beans, hard boiled egg and fried dried beans and Boom!!! There it is! Great flavor of the broth mixes with all your add ins to make a perfect bowl of soup. The noodles they use are exceptional, great texture and chewiness. Mohinga soup is a must try when you visit them, trust me on this one.
Next up was the Kalyana Ma La Fish, and cooked to perfection, it was. I normally do not order the whole fish, but I know a lot of people do so I gave it a try. A nice sized fish buried in leaves and spices accompanied by big thick Chinese noodles. I have never seen these noodles before and they were unique. Thick rubbery textured noodles that reminded me of jellyfish in a Japanese restaurant. They had that kind of texture to them. It was not something I expected and very interesting. The fish was great. Large chunks of moist white meat fish complimenting the flavors on top, just a great combination. It was a great experience for me as I really tried to relax and take in the culture of the food. Another one to try when you visit.
Burmese Biriyani and Macha Tea Leaf Fried Rice. I tried a couple of rice dishes as well. The Burmese Biriyani was exceptional. It had a masala flavor to it, gave a nice slow burn. Not too hot, not to cool, but just right. Big fluffy rice with assorted colors in it. The presentation was beautiful and the taste even better. I also gave a go at their Matcha Tea Leaf Fried Rice. This was the first time I had ever even heard of this. It was fantastic. A smooth deep subtle flavor, not spicy, very filling. It tasted so good, but felt much heavier than the biriyani, so had to measure my intake so as not to fill up to quickly. They were both extremely good in their own rights and would suggest trying them, both!
Last but not least, I want to mention the Grilled Chicken Cube and The Mixed Grill. They both have the masala taste which I have fallen in love with recently. The grilled chicken was cooked well, tender and juicy as was the mixed grill. Now, I would suggest The Kalyana Mixed Grill because it is only 350 baht and you get the grilled chicken on it plus a whole lot more. Seriously, this thing is a monstrousity. It is huge! It comes with chicken, pork, sausages, squid, a few ears of corn, okra, and enoki mushrooms. Great flavor and a great experience. You cannot go wrong with this bad boy! It is easily enough for four people or maybe more. I’m American, and you know how we eat. Smaller eaters may be able to stretch it further, lol. It is just a great platter to get to try a little bit of everything.
You take all that and wash it down with a few Myammar Beers and you are golden. This is the only place I have ever seen Myammar Beer for all our beer drinkers out there. It is worth noting that it has won a few awards from the World Beer Awards. I thought it was pretty good and only 60 baht. Where are you going to find a cheaper beer in town?
Kalyana is a definite must for all you out there wanting to get a little culture in your system. Really cute place with fantastic atmosphere, great owners, and amazing food. I think if you give this place a shot, you won’t be dissatisfied. Thank you to Rosan and Ram for showing me what Burmese food is all about. I’ll be seeing you again soon.