The crisp and golden “Moon shrimp cakes” with a tender and juicy filling accompanied by a scrumptious sweet and sour sauce embodies the owner’s signature taste. Upon entering Irrawaddy Myanmar Restaurant, you’ll notice that the shrimp cakes are on the table of almost every customer. Owner Ko emphasizes that he primarily uses homemade ingredients, such as pureeing pure shrimp rather than using a fish paste. He also uses sour plums as a sauce base, creating sweet and sour flavors that have captured the hearts of foodies for 22 years.
“Sliced pork with special vinegar sauce” is a specialty at the restaurant that requires some expert knife skills. Meat from the head is cut into thin slices, excess fat is washed away with warm water, and the meat is then chilled and dipped in sauce prior to serving. Another dish, “Minced pork with chilli sauce basil” is spicy and eaten alongside rice. “Yunnan Pickled Vegetables” is another unique dish that has strikingly different flavors to Taiwanese-style pickled cabbage. Quite novel, it incorporates an array of unique spices, such as fennel and caoguo (Lanxangia tsaoko, a ginger-like plant) powder, and offers charming flavors when stir-fried with meat.
The boss’s family fled to Myanmar (Burma) during the Chinese Civil War. When he turned 17, he traveled to Taiwan alone to attend high school; upon graduation, he entered the catering industry. Afterward, he was appointed to a newly opened hotel in Hualien, falling in love with the unforgettable beauty of Hualien at first sight. He worked at the hotel for five years and over this period met his wife. In 1998, he opened a restaurant to introduce the food culture of Myanmar (Burma) and Yunnan.
In the early days of opening his restaurant, he was impacted by both the 921 Jiji earthquake in 1999 and the SARS outbreak. However, he has overcome these difficulties with the delicious cuisine he serves, and the restaurant has steadily grown. Owner Ko stated, "Hualien is a great place for people to interact with each other.
There is no doubt that many of the regulars have become friends. The air in Hualien is fresh. The body and mind can be truly liberated in this land of purity."
Owner Ko often takes walks around the mountainous areas of Hualien. He particularly recommends checking out “Zuocang Trail” and “Saguer Trail,” which offer a peek into the rich ecology of the area, including macaques, fish, and shrimp. Likewise, Taroko offers some amazing adventures with great hiking trails and many secret destinations. Some travelers from Mainland China have never seen the ocean before, so he recommends that they check out the hilltop sand dunes at Whirl Lan Bay. Colline 77 is situated at the northern starting point of the Coastal Mountain Range. From there, visitors have access to fantastic views of Hualien City and a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains, sea, and clouds. It’s a perfect location for people to relax.
Irrawaddy Myanmar Restaurant
Address: No. 11-1, Minquan Road, Hualien, Hualien County
Opening Hours: 11:00–14:00,17:00 –21:00 (Closed on Mondays and the last Sunday of every month)
Tel: (03)831–0077, (03)834–5193