Considering that Adam took over 130 pictures of London restaurants we ate at, it was only natural that we start chronicling our thoughts and opinions about the food we eat. We've totally become accidental foodies. It all started out when Sheila started calling Adam "the human trash compactor"; since he eats almost anything. But somewhere along the way we started having discussions about food and seeking out culinary adventures when on travel. We bring a unique perspective to this arena as we're both vegetarians (no meat, poultry, or fish). I suspect we will both have varying opinions on the food, and hope to not only have a record for posterity, but provide some fun, useful if not amateur insight.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

burma superstar

Amongst the plethora of Asian establishments that line Clement St, Burma Superstar definitely stands out from the crowd. That's not based on plugs from Food Network or Check Please, but rather because of the food. What a concept, eh? There other outposts in Alameda and Clement (B-Star), be we opted for the original at the corner of Clement and 4th.

Burma Superstar doesn't take reservations, so we were prepared to wait. Fortunately, Sheila and I headed over on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and were being ushered into the small dining area after only 10 mins! As the name indicates, it's Burmese style - influenced by China, Thailand, and India. We ordered several meals to share, which still netted a large doggie bag.

Mu Shu Vegetable Wraps - spicy stir-fried cabbage, carrots, celery, tomatoes, tofu, and mushrooms; rice paper wraps; and plum sauce. We hand wrapped our own rolls which were bursting with Asian flavors. The stir-fried veggies were crispy cooked without being soggy; the plum sauce was a great balance to the saltiness of the veggies; the rice wraps were too thin to keep in the fillings, but that did not dampen our tummy happiness. I game my giddy nod and eyebrow raise of approval which Sheila found quite amusing. Hands down the best fresh wraps I've eaten.

Vegetarian Samusa Soup - a hearty mix of split peas daal, cabbage, beans, and fried samusa (Burmese ravioli filled with potato, lentils, onions). I can only describe samusa as a burmese version of felafel. We ordered a medium bowl which were plenty. Needless to say on a cold Winter day, this hit the spot. There was balance between the broth and veggies, not too chunky and not overly watery. It tasted much like a South Indian sambar, due to the similarities in base spices and lentils. If they sold this soup at our local organic market, we'd have a batch in the freezer for emergencies!

Vegetable Curry Delux - a tomato-based curry with squash, eggplant, onion, tomatoes, and tofu. This was not a memorable dish; very similar to a veggie "shaak" at your local Indian joint. This spice level was fine, the veggies cooked well, but I wasn't ready to ask for the recipe. Sheila's homemade dishes pack a better punch.

Jackfruit Banana Chocolate Fried w/ Coconut Ice Cream - basically a jackfruit and banana spring roll coated coated with some chocolate sauce; then served with a scoop of coconut ice cream and some strawberry slices. It was decadent, especially for someone like me who doesn't like the mushy texture of bananas. The fried coating was not too crispy; the chocolate on paper sounded odd, but surprising worked with the flavors; the ice cream accompanied the dish well, although nothing compared to Mitchell's or Bi-Rite.

In my opinion, Burma Superstar is akin to an India wedding feast. The appetizers and desserts are the best parts of the meal. I would definitely go back for starters and perhaps order a different entree - maybe a tofu noodle dish. All in all, I would recommend a trek to the Inner Richmond for a real taste of Burmese cuisine.

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