Rangoon Spoon is a relatively new restaurant that opened its doors last year in October. Located in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn on 86th Street, the Burmese eatery is owned by Amy Tun, a Myanmar (formerly Burma) immigrant who moved to the United States back in 2005, when immigration policy allowed more Burmese people to enter in order to escape their oppressive country. She cooks her authentic cuisine together with her older sister, Winnie Catungal, and husband, Danny Aung.
Ligaya Mishan, a writer for the New York Times, has recently written of her eating experience at the Rangoon Spoon, specifically highlighting and describing the process of making shan tofu, a chickpea recipe unrelated to soybean-based tofu. After the chickpea flour is soaked overnight, then drained and soaked, again, then simmered and churned before being chilled, the final product is a food resembling bean curd and mung bean noodles. Ms. Tun then cuts it into strips and lightly covers it in garlic oil, fish sauce, and tamarind paste.
There hasn’t been a Burmese restaurant in Manhattan since 2016, when Cafe Mingala closed after over twenty years in business. Mishan of the NYTimes states that you could still find hints of Burmese cuisine in Chinese restaurants, though it was sparse. That gap was filled when Together, another Burmese restaurant, opened in March of 2017, which also serves sushi (a Japanese staple), followed by the opening Rangoon Spoon in October of the same year, though they focus solely on Burmese cuisine.
Ms. Tun and her staff also cooks up house-made fish cakes, a succulent pork belly outlined by pungent shrimp paste, and braised beef shank that’s oh so tender. The food is relatively inexpensive and reservations are gladly accepted.