Friday, August 16, 2019

Eat in Oakland: Grocery Cafe

Veggies Kyaw: Burmese pakora served with tamarind sauce

Pork Belly Thoke made with sliced pork belly, vegetables, aromatic spices, and herbs

Mohinga: fish chowder made with rice noodles, served with exotic fritter and condiments

Last week I finally visited Grocery Cafe, a Burmese restaurant located in Jack London Square, years after reading Luke Tsai's review in the East Bay Express.

My friend and I shared three dishes during our visit. We started with Veggies Kyaw, a Burmese pakora served with tamarind sauce. Like all the dishes served, this appetizer was huge. It featured a variety of deep-fried vegetables that tasted similar to tempura. It was great. Then we had two entrees: the Pork Belly Thoke made with sliced pork belly and vegetables, and the Mohinga, a fish chowder with rice noodles, hard-boiled eggs, and onions. The pork belly salad had a nice flavor I enjoyed. Labeled a "favorite national dish," the fish chowder had a nice comfort food quality to it. Adding the lime, fritter, or cilantro on the side gave it a nice dimension.

We really enjoyed our meal. Two takeaways are that we definitely ordered too much food -- the portions are huge -- and it's pretty well-priced for what you get. Next time I'll try the Laphet Thoke (tea leaf salad) or the Ohno Khao Swe (coconut chicken noodle soup).

If you've visited Grocery Cafe recently, what do you recommend trying?

Grocery Cafe
Website | Facebook | Yelp
90 Franklin St., Oakland, CA 94606
Open: Sunday - Thursday 11:30am - 3pm & 5pm - 9pm, Friday - Saturday 11:30am - 3pm & 5pm - 10pm

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