1345 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501 | 510.522.6200 | website
I had plans to meet my SIL (sister in law) Casey for dinner and we decided to check out the newest addition to the Burma Superstar empire in Alameda. We arrived around 7:30 which seemed to be the prime dining time as there was quite a crowd milling around in front, but since it was just the two of us we opted to sit at the bar and were seated immediately. It was bustling and we waited a while before anyone came around for our orders.
We saw bowls of lacy Lotus chips go by and put in our order, and received a bowl filled with thinly sliced lotus root, deep fried until crispy and seasoned with chili salt. They were similar to taro chips with a denser texture than potato chips and we loved the festive appearance. Very addictive, might have been good with some kind of spicy dipping suace…
It had been a while since my last visit, and I had quite a hankering for their signature Tea Leaf Salad, the national dish of Myanmar which is so famous it has been featured on the Food Network. According to their menu, they import the tea leaves (Lahpet) from Burma, which are made by steaming young tea leaves, packing them into bamboo stalks or other vessels, then burying them underground to help regulate the fermenting process. The dish arrives with the separate ingredients arranged neatly on the plate so that our server could explain each item before mixing it all up with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The salad features a mound of the tea leaves resting on top of chopped romaine lettuce, surrounded by chopped tomatoes, dried shrimp powder, crispy fried garlic slices, sesame seeds, peanuts, chopped bell pepper, and split yellow peas. This is a Lytro picture, so you can click around to play with the focus.
The freshly tossed ingredients create a complex variety of crunchy and crisp textures and brilliant flavor from the fermented tea leaves mixed in with the bright freshness of the lemon juice, this is one of the best salads ever.
We finished off with Roast Duck Garlic Noodles, a tangle of chewy rice noodles mixed with with fried garlic, scallions, thin slices of onion and cucumber and topped with a tangy chili sauce. It was not as stunning as the salad, but it had complex textures and was well seasoned and savory and we couldn’t stop eating until the plate was empty.
I’m so glad that Burma Superstar opened up the east bay locations both have parking and much more comfortable dining rooms than the original one in the richmond. And everytime I eat here I wonder why I don’t come by more often…