Cravings - A Taste of Burma
by Laurie Zerga
READING A BOOK OFTEN TRIGGERS CRAVINGS-which is exactly what happened when my book club read Amy Tan's Saving Fish from Drowning (G.P. Putnam's Sons Publishing). The novel is set in Burma, so it seemed fitting to discuss the plot over Burmese food. This called for a stop at Hinn Tha Burma Bistro (1345 Park St., 510-865-8338) to pick up a sampling of traditional cuisine before the meeting.
Manager Nicolas Kyi recommended a variety of foods: a ginger salad of cabbage, sesame seeds, split peas and peanuts with a lemon ginger dressing and chicken satay as starters and coconut chicken noodles and a prawn dish as entrées. The food was the perfect accompaniment to the book discussion-and got us hooked on Burmese cuisine.
Speaking of being hooked, those coconut chicken noodles keep me heading back to Hinn Tha. It's fun to try the restaurant's different offerings, but I am fixated on the coconut chicken noodle dish, which comes in a bowl to contain the flavorful coconut-chicken broth. The hardboiled egg, onion, cilantro and family spices add a wonderful taste experience. You'll be scraping the bowl with your spoon to finish every last drop.
On a recent visit, Kyi mentioned that both the menu and the restaurant's interior are being updated. The changes, including the opening of a back patio, should be complete in September, but one thing will stay the same: the coconut chicken noodles, which, thankfully, will remain on the menu.