Burmese Bites: Have We Just Found One Of London's Best Southeast Asian Restaurants?

Published . By Abigale Leyton.

I would be lying if I said I couldn’t eat noodles all day, every day, so when I heard that Burmese hotspot Lahpet was coming to the bustling West End, I was pretty excited. After making a huge impact on Shoreditch’s food scene with mouthwatering specialities from Myanmar in 2018, founder Dan and head chef Zaw knew exactly what Central needed… authentic Southeast Asian cuisine.

After stepping into their gorgeous space, we were not only met with chic interiors, but also a delightfully aromatic smell, which instantly transported us across the world. Decked out with swanky decor, including plush seating, rose gold geometric lights, and a plethora of lively hanging plants, this spot really impressed. It also had a great selection of seating, from cosy booths ideal for sultry date nights to stylish communal benches for those larger gatherings.

Lahpet West End | DesignMyNight

With a stunning open bar space, you can watch the mixologists at work.

We couldn’t think of a better way to start off our afternoon than with a couple of cocktails, so we opted for the tangy, yet creamy, turmeric and yuzu sour (£11.50), made from pisco, lime, and maraschino. Followed by… hands down, one of the tastiest concoctions I have ever tried: the pandan sling (£11). This tropical delight was whipped up with the smoothest rum, pineapple shrub, bitters, and a generous squeeze of lime juice - it literally tasted like a holiday.

Building up quite the appetite, we delved into probably the best part of the meal entirely, and that was the starters. Paying homage to the traditional salads in Burma, we enjoyed three of their divine treats. First up was the Lahpet thohk (£9), which boasted a rich umami flavour from the pickled tea leaves and dried shrimp, complemented by creamy double fried beans. Next was the oh-so-refreshing ginger salad (£8), with a slightly pungent and spicy aroma, alongside a nice texture of peanuts. Last, but certainly not least, was the crisp green tomato salad (£7.50), made with shallots and an ample amount of coriander, providing those tongue-tantalising citrus notes.

As for protein, we chose the platter of mixed grilled skewers (£20), which included a selection of succulent cornfed chicken thighs, juicy black tiger prawns and hearty king oyster mushrooms with tenderstem broccoli. Each of these was perfectly seasoned, with a slightly charred flavour from the grill, served alongside a vibrant tomato dip. Yum. Lahpet West End | DesignMyNight

Not only did the food taste good, but it was also presented beautifully.

Moving onto mains, my mum opted for the fragrant hake masala (£16.50), served on a lemongrass and cassava rosti, with a wedge of charred lime to cut through the richness. Followed by a side of coconut rice (£3.50), which was flavoursome, and had a generous helping of fried onions on top for garnish. I, of course, had to try the Rakhine mohinga (£16.50), a traditional fish noodle soup with rice noodles, bream and grilled squid. The real star of the show for this dish was the moreish broth, made from fermented fish paste, which was expertly balanced with a soft boiled egg and green beans. We then washed down our food with a couple of glasses of Franz Haas Alto Adige Italy (£10.40), a crisp and light pinot grigio.

Lahpet West End | DesignMyNight

These noods were soup-er yummy.

We couldn't resist the dessert menu, so decided on the banana parfait (£8), a creamy pud with plenty of pieces of fruit, accompanied by a crumble and ginger tuile. Followed by our favourite, a moist cassava cake (£7.50), served alongside a stand-out jackfruit sorbet with crystalised pineapple. These both tasted fresh and really let the naturally sweet flavours shine through.

The DesignMyNight Digest 

Although we had a few courses, and probably indulged a little too much, it all felt very balanced. Each dish had a great deal of Burmese flavours and textures, ultimately showcasing a range of high-quality ingredients, without overpowering them. This is a great haunt if you're looking for a tasty, yet, healthy meal out, or fancy trying a new type of cuisine.

  💰 The damage: £157.28 for two, including service charge.

  📍  The location: 21 Slingsby Place, WC2E 9AB.

  👌 Perfect for: Date nights or lunch with pals.

 ⭐ Need to know: Don't skip the cocktails - they are a must.

 

Feeling hungry? Check out our guide to Asian restaurants in the city, or sign up to get news and reviews in your inbox with our London newsletter