Hpa-an Lodge is a welcome addition to the somewhat limited dining options in the Kayin State capital. There are a number of tea shops and some excellent Thai restaurants on the main road leading to the centre of Hpa-an, but there were just about zero options for upscale restaurants until the Lodge opened last year.
The concise menu consists of both Myanmar and Western style dishes, particularly French. While one might wonder how good French fare could be in Kayin State, the answer is surprisingly excellent.
The savoury crepe with egg, ham and cheese is a fantastic dinner option. The drink list includes weekly cocktail specials, but the ever reliable can of cold Myanmar beer is an unconventional, yet good a pairing for the dish. The pasta with pesto, again not something you might envisage eating in the shadow of a Buddhist holy site, was cooked perfectly and avoided being overly oily.
Dessert options are also domestic and foreign, but after having such luck with the main courses, there seemed to be no need to deviate from the Western dishes and the chocolate mousse did not disappoint. The rich, dark chocolate dessert was delicious.
Lunch options are equally as good. The club sandwich was stacked high with grilled chicken and crispy bacon, a far better rendering of the sandwich that the egregiously overpriced, breadheavy options available in Yagon.
The Hpa-an Lodge restaurant is at the front of the new resort, under traditional umbrellas and offering a grand view of Mount Zwegabin. If you are exploring the attractions around Hpa-an but are not staying at the Lodge, it’s a great spot to splurge on juice, coffee or a quick bite to eat.
Lunch service stops at 2:30pm, with a snack menu available from then until dinner service starts at 6:30pm. Arrive early to catch the sunset.
This Article first appeared in the February 26, 2015 edition of Mizzima Weekly.
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