Irrawaddy Taste of Burma was first opened in March of 2016 as the first and currently only Burmese restaurant in Orange County, CA. Co-Owner & Chef, Banny Hong has owned and operated several Asian-inspired restaurants since first moving to California nearly 30 years ago. It wasn’t until recently that Banny decided to focus on Burmese food – a return to his early roots as well as his greatest passion.
We were very fortunate enough to experience such an amazing culture and culinary tradition while growing up in Burma and we wanted to contribute our diverse background to the melting pot capital of the world. Irrawaddy's menu is inspired by northern and southern parts of Burmese cuisine. Northern cuisine is spicy, tangy, with hot soups to cope with the cold weather. While, the southern cuisine focuses on noodles (ah thote), salads, and icy sweets to keep cool from the heat. We invite you to have a taste of Burma and make it a taste to remember.
Burma, also known as Myanmar, is situated in Southeast Asia and shares borders with China, India, Laos, and Thailand. Many ethnicities and migration from neighboring countries have enriched Burma's 1,400 years of history with culturally, socially and culinary customs.
The Irrawaddy River was the main travel route in Burma. It flows from north to south and is about 1350 miles long. When we were young boys we: drank, swam, bathed, fished, cooked, farmed, and traveled along its waters. As people migrated from place to place, so did their foods, spices, and culinary traditions. Food can introduce and emphasize cultural differences, by breaking down language barriers and connecting people.
Burma is known for its fine jades, rare rubies, hard teaks, godly pagodas, and rich culture but most of all, it is known for its tasty street foods, home cooking, and lively festivals. People have traveled many miles using various ways of transportation, such as horse/ox carriages, bicycles, boats, trains, trucks, and even on foot to sell their foods to those cultural centers.