There is a huge influence by neighbour countries regarding Myanmar food: Indian Roti or Chiapati (both sorts of flat bread), Samosas and Curries have to be mentioned as well as some stuff which probably is a little strange for some people like the soup with chicken feet in it.
However, the most common and wide spread dish is rice with vegetables and egg, coming with meat by choice.
There's a lot of vegetarian food in most places, however noudle soups come with a fishy taste very often, especially when it comes to street food - so be careful with that one if you dont like it!
Eating at a Myanmar Restaurant
At restaurants and nearly everywhere people stare at you quite often. But that doesn't mean that you will feel uncomfortable at all since the Myanmar people are generally very nice and friendly. You'll be already aware of that when entering the place, but also by the way myanmar people serve you: Dishes generally come with a free soup as a starter and a free tiny salad is quite common as well.
You'll always get a sealed bottle of water on the table, which is around 500 Kyat. However, you only have to pay it if you really drink it. In fact you can find free water everywhere on the street for refilling your bottle. Most of the people dont know that if you ask for a tea at a restaurant you'll get it for free as well in most places.
In Myanmar there is a totally different restaurant culture than in most other countries: Exemplarily, you pay the check in one sum. Sure, they do split it if you ask for. However it might be a little complicated then.
Indeed you can realize a huge language barrier in many places. But Myanmar people are very happy and patient to get your order right, even if they have to call for their colleagues.
It is impressive to see little kids working and running the business like an adult in numerous places. And another interesting thing is the sound the guests do when calling for the staff. It sounds a little similar to kissing. Just try it by yourself - it works! 🙂
The restaurant prices in cities vary a lot. They seem to correlate with the English language skills. You can find a dish for 1500 Kyat in a very cheap local place where they barely speak English. If you'll find an English menu the prices are often a little higher for example. Meat and seafood is generally a little more expensive. If there are no prices on the menu you should ask before ordering, since a dish can quickly cost around 5000 Kyat afterwards. However prices are not to be bargained in a restaurant.
Myanmar Drinks and Dessert
Locals drink a lot of Myanmar tea, fruit shakes or energy drinks called M150. Myanmar Beer is not as popular as the local Schnaps mixed with water since cheaper.
The tea is always green tea coming from local plantages in the country. Even if the tea leaves are colored black it is still green tea.
The fruit shakes are little different than what you normally expect. Most of the times they is just fruits in water and sugar to sweaten it up. Refreshing anyway but just a little different from the fruit shakes in other Asian countries.
Other interesting drinks to explore are made out of tamarind or sugar cane. Try the real fruit if you find it at one of the markets.
A very popular dessert or snack is cooked rice balls topped with coconut rasps. They sometimes have a chocolate filling and you eat them hot.