Where to eat and drink: Myeik

Myeik: Where to eat and drink

Myeik offers a bit of everything in this very mixed town: an interesting Indian, fine Thai, great Chinese, excellent Burmese, acceptable Western, great tea shops, a good coffee shop bakery and a wonderful rooftop bar.

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Out of the plethora of curry shops around the market, our favourite was the friendly Shwe Mon Family Restaurant, partly due to the owner speaking fluent English and so being able to explain what everything was. The style is Mon-Burmese with a choice of ready-prepared dishes, including plenty of fish and vegetable options. Servings go for around 1,500 kyat, there are some tables outside on the footpath and beers are served. To find it, walk past the market on Bogyoke Road and take the second right.

At a waterfront curry shop. : Mark Ord.
At a waterfront curry shop. Photo: Mark Ord

Further south, on Palae Road, is Number One, a Muslim Indian restaurant serving chicken curries and fish and vegetable dishes as well as morning rotis and samosas. (They open at 04:00 for the trade from the nearby mosque.) This is rustic and basic so perhaps not for everyone, but it’s good for a snack and do try out the deep-fried yellow balls, which are chicken with mashed potato and spices. Curries go for 1,000 kyat each.

Also very good and very popular for Burmese grub is the busy night market on Strand Road. They have a choice of ready-prepared curries or a selection for barbecuing. Stalls set up on the waterfront footpath from late afternoon and while no beer is sold they’ll gladly nip across the road and get some for you. Curry dishes go for around 2,000 kyat while your grill selection varies -- think prawns, whole fish, chicken wings, sausages and meatballs.

Simple fare at a local curry shop. : Mark Ord.
Simple fare at a local curry shop. Photo: Mark Ord

Our favourite in town for Burmese – or Burmese-Chinese – is the fantastic Karaweik on Baho Road. Tables are set up in the spacious courtyard of a lovely old colonial-era villa and it’s heaving with customers from opening until closing time. The English-language menu is limited but meals are excellently prepared, with plenty of rice and noodle options. Their chop suey is very good, the spicy pork soup a wonder, and the Myeik-style fried noodles bore more than a passing resemblance to pad Thai. There’s rapid service and fast turn-over but they do close promptly at 21:00. Dishes go for an average 1,500 kyat each.

If you have transport, or don’t mind a long walk or a tuk tuk ride, try the waterfront eateries north of town either side of the Myeik Shopping Centre. Some of these are more beer stations providing food while others more restaurants serving beer. Past the mall the Chinese/Burmese offerings of Shwe Yar Su and Shwe Beik come recommended and serve draught beer and the ubiquitous seafood. Before the mall are a couple of Thai places offering a slightly different slant on similar seafood offerings, with Blue Wave looking the pick of the bunch. Even in Myeik the seafood isn’t particularly cheap but it is very well prepared and these spots are popular with locals. Prawn dishes are around 3,500 kyat, crab 4,500 kyat, squid 3,500 kyat and lobster or whole fish sold by weight. The odd-looking mall has coffee, juice and snack stalls and is open from 08:00-21:00.

At Shwe Mon Family Restaurant. : Mark Ord.
At Shwe Mon Family Restaurant. Photo: Mark Ord

Last but not least and also offering Burmese/Chinese dishes, all the Thai classics plus some not too bad Western options is Grand Jade’s ninth floor Sky Dining Hall. Dishes have the usual emphasis on seafood and are well prepared. They have English-speaking waiters and a menu in English, although it is slightly pricey. Veggie dishes are around 2,500 kyat while curries and seafood dishes go for 5,000 to 7,000 kyat. The view is worth paying a bit extra for.

The best downtown bet for coffee is the air-con Stella Cafe in the Golden Mall shopping centre. They offer a full range of espresso-based coffees as well as freshly squeezed juices and shakes plus a good bakery selection. YYA on Gone Yone Road also serves fresh juices, ice creams and okay coffee, though their bakery selection is a more local style. Finally, if you’re out at the Myeik Shopping Centre, Goody Cafe on the first floor has good coffee and a bakery too.

Green Eyes tea shop. : Mark Ord.
Green Eyes tea shop. Photo: Mark Ord

For tea shops don’t look further than the wonderful Green Eyes in the old quarter. It’s a classic old-style tea shop with a dimly lit interior, lots of varnished and nicotine-stained wood plus a great little terrace with a couple of outdoor tables. They do juices and snacks and even made us a cup of coffee with no sugar or creamer. This is a good spot to chat with the locals and watch the coming and goings along the street outside.

For bars, head down to one of the beer stations on upper Strand Road by the shopping centre or for something classier and a cocktail list with a view, take the lift up to the ninth floor of Grand Jade.

Marcus Island tea shop. : Mark Ord.
Marcus Island tea shop. Photo: Mark Ord

Blue Wave: Strand Rd, south of Myeik Shopping Centre, Myeik; open daily 07:30-23:00.
Goody Cafe: Myeik Shopping Centre, Myeik; open daily 08:00-21:00.
Green Eyes Food and Drink Centre: Office Rd, Myeik; open daily 07:00-21:00.
Karaweik: Baho Rd between Grand Jade Hotel and Sun Guesthouse, Myeik; open daily 10:00-21:00.
Night market: Strand Rd, south of the main jetty, Myeik; open daily 17:00-23:00-ish.
Number One: Palae (sometimes written Pulae) Rd, near the mosque, Myeik; open daily 04:00-22:00.
Shwe Beik: Strand Rd, north of Myeik Shopping Centre, Myeik; open daily 08:00-23:00.
Shwe Mon Family Restaurant: Chin The Thone Kaung St, Myeik; open dailiy 10:00-21:00.
Shwe Yar Su: Strand Rd, north of Myeik Shopping Centre. 08:00-23:00
Sky Dining Hall: 9th floor of Grand Jade, Baho Rd. Open 08:00-22-00
Stella Cafe: downstairs at the Golden Mall, Baho Street. Open 07:00-21:00
YYA Cafe and Bakery House: 27 Gone Yone Rd; open daily 07:00-21:00.

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Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.