In Melbourne, we live in a fast-paced, forever changing foodie world. What is trendy today could be old news tomorrow, and the very best restaurants are constantly changing and recreating their menus to keep us all engaged in their scene.
This is why it was so refreshing to see popular CBD restaurant Burma Lane moving away from its Burmese style menu of seasons past, and re-opening with a new and exciting Modern Australian meets Asian fusion vibe that celebrates Melbournes’ multiculturalism. We loved getting a sneak peek of the new menu from executive chef John McLeay, and were impressed by the European tapas style influences sneaking into the food along with the subtle Asian flavours and impressive cooking style. Each dish was flavoursome, texturally exciting and plated beautifully.
In addition to the new menu is a beautiful series of murals that further emphasizes the multicultural connection. Already a gorgeous dining space, this new artwork just adds to feel of the space and makes diners feel like they are part of a story from the minute they walk in.
The menu begins with some outstanding individual tapas style dishes such as beef tartare with kohlrabi cream, rice paddy herb, quail egg and paratha (my personal favourite) or stand-out vegetarian dish Shan tofu with with smashed tomato, radish. herbs and peanuts.
Amongst the more substantial dishes the stand-out had to be the pleasantly surprising Nori noodles with squid, miso butter, green onion and crispy seaweed. Not sure what to expect, we just adored this Japanese take on Carbonara; the rich miso sauce combined with the nori noodles and ribbons of squid made for a really exciting dish.
The new menu also includes a pork belly dish that John McLeay cheekily suggests may just rival his incredibly famous Pork Belly dish at his sister restaurant Red Spice Road. The chilli caramel Pork Belly is reknowned around Melbourne as being one of the best pork belly dishes around town, and I have to admit that he may just kick that dish to second place with this sweeter option with Black Pepper Caramel and green mango salad which was just so rich, decadent and delicious.
The pineapple cheesecake was also a wonderful surprise, as I wouldn’t usually choose a dessert with pineapple or cheesecake. I expected it to be quite tart and sweet, but it had a lovely subtle flavour and soft texture, making it the perfect dessert at the end of quite a decadent meal, perfectly paired with pandan chiffon, honeycomb and white chocolate ice-cream.
It can sometimes be worrying when restaurants decide to throw what we as customers know and love out the window to take a new risk, and I am sure that there are a few Burma Lane fans out there who are apprehensive about the menu they know and love being so drastically changed. But, rest assured, John and the team know what they are doing and with flagship restaurants such as Red Spice Road and Meat Fish WIne under their belts, it is not a surprise that they have managed to hit the ball out of the park again in the affordable fine dining sphere. The new Burma Lane has my big tick of approval, especially the new tapas style dishes that I am still dreaming about and could eat all night long!
Have a delicious day,