My first experience with Burmese food (other than samusas) was on a trip to the Bay in which one of my New York friends came with me. She is Burmese and requested that Burma Superstar be one of the places we visit. Burma Superstar is really famous in San Francisco. I immediately incorporated it into our itinerary.
We waited 40 minutes for a table and it was well worth it. My friend compared the food to her mother's home cooking and while some dishes were hits and others were better home cooked, she enthusiastically approved. We went with two other friends and their toddler. Even the kid loved the food! Especially the spiciness of the samusas!
As an introduction to Burmese food, my friend ordered quite a few dishes. We got the Tea Leaf Salad, Burmese Samusas, Salt and Pepper Calamari, Pork Curry with Potato, Okra Egg Curry and the Classic Burmese Chicken Casserole with Cardamom Cinnamon Rice.
The Tea Leaf Salad is my favorite Burmese dish and I order it every time I go back. It has a spoonful of tea leaves all the way from and is a mixture of lettuce, sunflower seeds, lentils, fried garlic, tomato, and sesame seeds. The salad is crunchy and full of flavor. I think the secret ingredient is fish sauce.
|Tea Leaf Salad|
The samusas were spicy and served with an even spicier dipping sauce. It was addicting.
|Vegetarian Samusas filled with curried spices and potatoes|
|Salt and Pepper Calamari|
|Okra Egg Curry|
|Pork Curry with Potato|
|Classic Burmese Chicken Casserole with Cardamom Cinnamon Rice|
|Coconut Fritters w/Vanilla Ice Cream + Strawberries|
|Platha w/Bananas + Strawberries|
I also recommend beef with mango and platha. Platha is pan fried layered bread. Other dishes I have tried are the Nan Gyi Dok (burmese rice noodles with a mild chicken coconut curry sauce, eggs, split yellow pea, and fried onion) and Garlic Noodles. The Nan Gyi Dok was similar to Filipino Pancit Palabok but with curry and the Garlic Noodles were more like Chinese Chowfun. Both were great as we love our noodles but I think the Cinnamon Rice and Pork Curry are better main dishes.
I can't wait to have Burmese food again. Like the few Burmese people I have met, there just as few Burmese restaurants around. We found another (Pagan Restaurant) down the street from Burma Superstar on Clement Street and heard of one on Mission. I am curious to try the one lone Burmese place in Manhattan Cafe Mingala. San Francisco is too far to travel for Burmese food!
Photography Credits: Jennifer Cheng
309 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118