In Focus

Htay Htay’s Kitchen offers Mrauk Oo-style food on Ngapali Beach

Photo by Phyo Thiha

Visitors to Ngapali love seafood and the distinctive Rakhine ngapi or fish paste flavour famous to the region. There are, therefore, many restaurants along the beach. Among the attractive restaurants stands this unique and picturesque restaurant built in the style of traditional Rakhine design using wood as the principle material. Cute design details such as the lights made from square wooden cups are dotted around.

The special recipe of this restaurant is the Mrauk Oo soup served withseafood or another meat which is the most popular with beach-going customers.

So where does this Mrauk Oo influence come from? Mrauk Oo food features heavily on the restaurant’s menu as the owner of the restaurant is from the famous ancient town itself.

To the delight of the employees in the restaurant, his hometown recipes have become very popular according to Ko San Min Thu, Manager of Htay Htay’s Kitchen who greets every customer with a warm smile.

“Mrauk Oo soup and seafood soup are special recipes that we serve only in our restaurant,” said Ko San Min Thu.

Having been in operation in the area for the last two decades, it is familiar to and well-loved by almost everyone who’s been to Ngapali. Crab with masala is  another popular dish and the squid, crab and prawn seafood dishes always go down well too.

Fruit juice, beer, wine and other soft drinks are also available at the restaurant.

Normally, Rakhine food is sour, salty and spicy this is sometimes hard to take for foreign visitors unfamiliar with the extreme flavours. Therefore the restaurant prepares the dishes with a little adjustment to make them suitable for the western palate.

“Foreigners sometimes don’t like Rakhine food as it is very spicy, so we need to prepare it in a sweeter style. As all the seafood served here is fresh it is therefore very tasty,” he added.

The restaurant also offers a buffet option if the customers request it for a group visit, family gathering or tour package. The number of customers has surged in recent years along with the higher rate of visitors to Ngapali.

Food prices in Htay Htay’s Kitchen are fair and start from K1,000 rising to K30,000 for a lobster salad. There are about 150 different kinds of dishes available at the restaurant offering abundant choice to the customers. The restaurant also has a souvenir shop where customers to the restaurant can buy gifts such as shirts and handicrafts. There are also plans to open accommodation and make it a full resort. The opening hours are from 7am to 10pm.

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Theingi Htun is a journalist who worked for two years at Yangon Times Journal and Flower News. She also worked for two years at Democracy Today News as Senior Journalist. She wrote many articles about culture, the travel sector and lifestyle stories too. Now she is working at My Magical Myanmar as a travel writer and social media executive."


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