The Bottom Line
You like big things in small packages? The tiny Burmese Cafe in Jackson Heights wows the taste buds with expertly prepared Burmese cuisine.
The flavors dash between India and Thailand, so the curries and stir-fries are familiar but still exotic and uniquely Burmese, heavy on the garlic, ginger, and fish sauce. Their two-bite samosas resolve the heavy Indian samosa into petite spring-roll wrapped triangles.
The casual, inexpensive Burmese Cafe is highly recommended for anyone wanting to sample a cuisine little known in New York City but with a robust, complex taste.
- Excellent tastes and exotic dishes
- "Throwing stars of love" Burmese-style samosas
- Get your caffeine fix in a tea leaf salad
- Close to #7, E, F, V subways
- Little chance of finding parking
- Tiny restaurant, not good for a group of five or more
- Cash only
- Burmese Cafe and Restaurant Address - 71-34 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 (the corner of 72nd St)
- Burmese Cafe Hours - Lunch and dinner, daily
- Burmese Cafe Phone - 718-803-1820 (also fax at same number)
- Subway - Close to 74th St/Roosevelt station for E, F, V, G, #7 subways
- Recommended Dishes - samosas, chicken and potato curry, pork curry, green tea leaf salad, palarta with Burmese beans
- Prices - $6-$10 entrees, $4-$5 appetizers, $5-$7 salads, $4 desserts, $1 rice
- Burmese Cafe Specials - Fridays evening only a special meal of chicken curry, sorrel leaf soup, and coconut rice
- Drinks - BYOB, alcohol license pending. The Burmese tea is served hot, sweet with evaporated milk, but not spiced like chai
Guide Review - CLOSED - Burmese Cafe - Restaurant Review
Another Indian-influenced appetizer, palarta ($4) is a layered, greasy flat bread served with a bean dip topped with crispy fried garlic. Scoop it up!
More unique to Burma, the green tea leaf salad ($6) is a sensation of flavors - sour with fish sauce, spicy with chili, savory with garlic -- and a heap of textures -- cabbage, pickled tea leaves, toasted peanuts, sesame seeds, tomato, and dried shrimp. The tea will get you going with its caffeine.
The restaurant's curries and "Chinese-style" stir-fries will be familiar to anyone used to Indian and Southeast Asian cooking, but different enough to warrant many satisfying yums. The bits of bone and nibbles of fat in the chicken curries ($5) may surprise someone accustomed to perfectly manicured meat.
The one misstep in three visits was the Burmese-style fried chicken. Crunchy on the outside, it was, alas, under cooked on the inside.
The Burmese Cafe staff knows their food, and can recommend dishes. While ice seems to be scarce, the service is very friendly and good.
Don't be put off by the poor side entrance to the restaurant. Though it's small, the space is homey and well-decorated with a golden Buddha, wooden puppets, and tapestries. Burmese karaoke videos play on a large TV at the back of the long, narrow space, with four-seat tables on either side of a middle aisle. The curtains help muffle the rumble of the overhead #7 subway.