Rangoon Ruby, Belmont

When I saw Rangoon Ruby had opened a location in the culinary black hole of Downtown Belmont, I had high hopes for a decent restaurant just a few minutes from my house. I’m a huge fan of Southeast Asian food and recalled nice things being said about the other Ruby Rangoon locations.

After waiting several days to avoid any opening week glitches I had a solo lunch of Ohnoh Kawt Swe (Coconut Noodle Soup) and Burmese Ice Tea.

I’m a fool for coconut curries and found the soup mildly pleasing at first, but by the end of the bowl I was disappointed. Given that RR is a white table cloth place the $13 cost of the Ohnoh Kawt Swe was reasonable, but it was dumbed-down and uninspiring.

I can best describe the sauce as “gloppy”. The flavor was pretty bland and individual flavors did not stand out.

My opinion may have been biased by a very decent Khao Poon (the kind with coconut milk) I had at Cafe Vientian in Oakland just a few days before. Admittedly it’s not the same dish, but CV’s Khao Poon was head and shoulders above RR’s only coconut curry soup offering. The Khao Poon had a thinner broth, a much more complex and interesting flavor, and individual flavors stood out more.

Since RR is so close to me I may return to try something else but I don’t expect much from this place.

I had the same impression of their Polk St location in SF. Burma Superstar neutralizes Burmese dishes in a way that’s still enjoyable, but not as good as, say, Mingalaba in Burlingame. Rangoon Ruby waters down the dishes to the point they’re no longer interesting. And their $11 frozen balata is a crazy rip off.

It is overpriced and dumbed down. Yet, it’s nearby ( PA branch ) to our house. We usually get the tea leaf salad, then maybe the Kebat dish, or the Jalapeno dish, or village catfish. These didn’t seem so gloopy. I have gotten gloopy dishes there. I try to remember “very spicy”.

I have the same opinion of the San Carlos branch… Took a friend there for her birthday lunch last year. Only thing I’d reorder isthe tea leaf salad. The rest of our meal (don’t even remember what we had) was attractively plated but very bland & uninteresting…

Sanitized burmese food. I wish a real Chinese place had taken over the premises.

Speaking of the culinary wasteland of Belmont, a friend tells me the new-ish Cheese store across from it is pretty good.

Here’s the link: http://www.thegreedyantgourmet.com/ (I have no affiliation)