Rangoon’s Coolest New Eatery
A cool bistro in Burma blends the best of the region, but with a
definite Vietnamese bent. BY JENINNE LEE-ST. JOHN
Published on Aug 22, 2016
RAU RAM has trotted across Asia and robbed a little bit from all our favorite flavors. Chef Kevin Ching, an American graduate of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, has created a menu inspired by his pan-Pacific life and travels—from the khanom chin noodles hawked by his favorite stall in Bangkok’s Chinatown to the oxtail stew “that my dad made for me growing up in Hawaii… with the volume turned up a bit.”
The playful bistro launched in June by Pun + Projects, the team behind hip Rangoon gastropub Port Autonomy, was named after one of the most vital Vietnamese herbs to emphasize how indigenous ingredients define national fare. “I wanted a name that would convey that sensory aspect of Southeast Asian cuisine,” says founder Ivan Pun. Fast-changing Rangoon, Pun says, is “ready for innovative restaurant concepts that can compete on an international level of creativity.”
Inside is a winning blend of chinoiserie birds hand-embroidered on silk wallpaper by Hong Kong décor brand Lala Curio, Burmese rattan and teak furniture by local firm Paribawga, a palm tree motif, and French brasserie touches. The layered style means you’ll feel equally at home sipping a potent calamansi mojito, sating your sweet tooth with Vietnamese coffee ice cream, or devouring Ching’s favorite dish, his version of the rice vermicelli and grilled meat smorgasbord bun cha: “We serve ours like it’s served in Hanoi, with spring rolls and pork meatballs, with the one addition of green samballaced porchetta—an homage to my days at the rotisserie at Appia in Bangkok.” We can’t wait to taste where these guys travel next. rauram.com; dinner for two K42,000.