Sunday, 29 November 2009
Barbecued Pig Tails and Crunchy Sparrows
So we've just arrived in Burma and have had about 12 airline meals in the space of 24 hours. Of course, my family immediately tries to feed us, but what should we have when we're feeling so delicate?
I decide we can just about nibble some light bites, so we pile into the car and head to the latest favourite a'gin zein (literally "grilled stuff shop") called "The Prome".
Located on Pyay Road, Yangon, The Prome is much like all the other barbecue huts I've been to in Burma (though a tad more upmarket ie expensive).
After perusing the menu for a few minutes (there's soups and salads as well as ... sushi), I think "sod it" and I wander over to the BBQ pic'n'mix.
There's tonnes to choose from, but I manage to restrain myself from grabbing too much, and stick to the goodies in the basket above.
Quails, sparrows, a curly pig tail, pig ears, chicken gizzards, squid, a massive prawn, pork belly and some lurid pink square salami.
And for veggies, there's lotus root, oyster mushrooms, garlic cloves and danyinthee aka jengkol - a type of bean I adore even if it does cause djenkolism (jengkol bean poisoning), symptoms of which include "spasmodic pain, gout, urinary obstruction and acute renal failure".
And just to add insult to injury, it also gives you unholy flatulence. But no gain without pain, right?
So a short while after I hand my basket of goodies to the nearest waiter to be grilled, dish after dish begins to arrive.
Particularly good are the crunchy chunks of pigtail, as well as the separately ordered wet-thar dohto ("pig on a stick" ie piggy innards).
I'm also digging the crispy little sparrows which we crunch down, bones and all.
As expected, the danyinthee is wonderfully more-ish (similar to the sator bean you can get in this country), although hubby eyes it warily, identifies it as the "poo bean" and refuses to try it. More for me then.
To finish our relatively ascetic meal, my a-Ma (Burmese for "older sister", here referring to my cousin) orders us yay-gè thohk - literally "ice salad".
Yay-gè thohk is a little like ice kachang, but without the disturbingly savoury kidney bean/sweetcorn element. Sweet and peanutty, it's a good palate-cleanser, and a nice, refreshing end.
So after paying the somewhat hefty bill, we pile back into the car and pootle off to bed before it's time for the next round of competitive feeding ...
The Prome Restaurant