YANGON — In a city where curries dominate most menus, Cherry Mann sets itself apart by serving very good Indian barbecue at a reasonable price.
On most nights, this bright, clean and well air-conditioned restaurant is hopping with mostly local meat-hungry patrons. But if you can’t get a table inside, never fear: there’s also seating out front. (This is also where you’ll have to go if you want to bring your own beer to have with your meal, since no alcohol is sold on the premises of this Muslim-run establishment.)
Meat lovers won’t be disappointed by the offerings here, which include a very tasty mutton kebab, sweet-and-sour chicken coated in grilled onions and garlic, and an unctuous fried chicken platter.
The kebabs, at 4,000 kyat (US$4) a serving, are hands down the best option—nicely seasoned and a good match with the oily paratha bread. The chicken dishes are also decent value (4,000 kyat for the sweet-and-sour, and 6,000 kyat for the platter), but are less than substantial, as they are more bone than meat.
On the subject of bones, Cherry Mann’s complimentary potato soup is also a big draw. With a strong meat and nutmeg flavor, the soup is delicious but very salty. When asked about the soup stock, a longyi-clad waiter explained that it was made with bones: “Chicken bones, beef bones, and sheep bones. Anything a Muslim can eat.”
All in all, Cherry Mann on Latha Street delivers on taste, but not on portion size. But if you’re looking for somewhere to start a night of drinking at nearby 19th street, this is the place.
This story first appeared in the August 2013 print issue of The Irrawaddy magazine.