In May this year, The Social House opened its
doors on a bustling street in the Yawmingyi area which is a popular area for
international companies to open offices and for foreigners to live. Despite a
proliferation of successful cafes, restaurants and spas, prior to the opening
of The Social House, there had been limited bar options in that area which
loosely covers Yawmingyi, Nawaday and Bo Yar Nyunt Streets.
House has a large floor area with both indoor and outdoor seating options. The
design theme is somewhat industrial with checkered black and white floor tiles
and relief wooden panels, leather chairs, exposed concrete and plenty of black
The outdoor seating is ideal for people-watching as it is raised
a few steps up from the street yet still connected to the urban vibe.
behind the food menu at The Social House is beer snack culture. In designing
the menu, the owners were influenced by the internationally common habit of
having snacks with your drinks. There are certain snacks that team particularly
well with certain drinks and they vary from country to country within Southeast
Asia. There’s the Japanese Chashu (barbecued pork belly), eel pakora and pajeon
(Korean seafood pancake) in the appetizers section.
The sharing plates are good
for groups of friends with options like spicy Korean lettuce boom, Vietnamese
BBQ lemongrass, and the most popular stir-fried black bean beef. Customers
looking for a more familiar comfort dish should try the potato masala, onion
rings and calamari combo which is also from the sharing plates menu. The dishes
on this menu range in price from K3,000 for deep fried potatoes with homemade
sauce to K9,800 for the butter-grilled tiger prawns. There is a menu of
barbecue skewered chicken and pork parts including chicken liver, heart and
gizzard or the less adventurous could try the pork belly.
As for the
drinks menu, all the standard local beers are available as well as top imports
including Hoegarden, Magners and Corona. Unfortunately, no wine is listed and
the ‘Fancy Drinks’ is a confusing mix of what appears to be beer-based
cocktails without descriptions. For the non-drinker there are plenty of fresh
juices and smoothies.
The owners, a
group of four Myanmar friends from from various backgrounds and plenty of
experience abroad, recognised that this would be a prime area to open the
business which they had started planning two years ago. Though not much space
for parking, there is a high amount foot traffic and moreover they could see
that the Yawmingyi area didn’t yet have any decent bars with a nice space for
customers to socialize with groups of friends. When the opportunity came up to
rent this space, they felt they had to take it. Now it seats 73 seats and gets
plenty of positive feedback for its spaciousness and design.
behind the bar is for it to be a neighbourhood joint, an automatic choice for
people from the area when meeting friends. The atmosphere on a Friday evening
proves it is just that – a vibrant ambiance with groups of friends from various
backgrounds having a chat over drinks and some snacks. During the World Cup
period there was a packed house for every game and The Social House earned a
name for itself as a top place to watch sport, helped in no small way by games
being projected onto their huge screen indoors.
plans in the works to open more similar ‘neighbourhood bars’ in more
neighbourhoods across Yangon going into the future and to introduce acoustic
music nights. For now, it is fair to say that the Yawmingyi area has a hot new
contender in the dining and nightlife scene.