The second wave of Burmese restaurant openings has hit the area, with Walnut Creek’s Burma Unique leading the way. With ambiance suitable for a date night or special occasion, the restaurant features page after page of recipes that reflect many of the country’s (now Myanmar) different cultural groups as well as a fusion of spice palates from neighbors Thailand, Laos, China, and India.
If you’re new to the cuisine, start with the tea leaf salad. It consists of fermented tea leaves, fried garlic, yellow split peas, peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, jalapeños and dried shrimp powder served with lettuce. A splash of lemon juice is added when the salad is tossed table-side. Big enough for up to four to share, we loved the different textures and flavors in the signature salad. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like tea.
Samosas filled with potatoes, red onions, peas, carrots are a traditional appetizer option. Burma Unique’s are lighter than most others I’ve enjoyed.
Moving through the menu, for our main course we selected sesame chicken and country-style beef curry. The sesame chicken is similar to Chinese dishes, with the thinly sliced chicken deep-fried and tossed in a tangy sauce. If you’re a pot roast fan, you’ll appreciate the beef curry. My favorite of the evening, it features fork-tender cubes of beef slow cooked with onions, garlic and red chili (you can specify how hot you’d like this dish). Enjoy it on a bed of rice, with a side of delicate garlic noodles or on its own.
Dishes start at $11. Full bar. Open Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5 – 9:30 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5 – 10 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. 1375 North Broadway, Walnut Creek.
A version of this review appears in the July issue of Your Town Monthly magazine.