Where the restaurants have no name

Published in The Myanmar Times on 8 July 2013

This new restaurant on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road must befuddle Yangon’s taxi drivers and its wannabe diners: The signs are in Japanese and Korean, with no Myanmar and just “Restaurant” written in English.

Photo by Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times
Photo by Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times

A call to “Restaurant” confirmed that the food is “Japanese-style Korean” and during a visit there I saw that the name printed on the menu is in fact Gangnam Restaurant. We wonder whether the owners are trying to attract an exclusively Japanese and Korean clientele, or if they’re concerned about the consequences of infringing the copyright of a superstar such as Psy.

Photo by Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times
Photo by Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times

If it’s the latter, there seems no need for concern – at least if Mickey Mouse Draught Beer Restaurant (pictured below) is any example…

Photo by Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times
Photo by Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times

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Jessica Mudditt is an Australian freelance journalist whose articles have been published by The Economist, BBC, CNN, Marie Claire, GQ and Australian Geographic.

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“I squeezed Sherpa’s hand one last time before reluctantly letting go. Our eyes locked for a second and we mouthed a quick “I love you” – the most affection it was appropriate to show in the conservative Buddhist country. I wanted to run a hand through his mop of curly black hair but he was already walking away from me.”