Tharaphu Burmese Street Food
2037 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone number (510) 356-4860
Five of us had a nice dinner here last week during their “soft launch” phase (same owners had a Boba tea place in the same spot). We were waited on by the co-owner, a delightful, sweet, but harried woman – service was a bit random though they were half full (we came at 6PM). They serve beer, not wine (yet), did not charge a corkage fee; we brought our own glasses. I drank most of two bottles of wine so my review is a bit sparse.
Most important is that their prices are quite low compared to other Burmese places I’ve been. So some portions are small or at least small in protein.
We had these (as I recall):
Mohinga (catfish noodle soup) oddly one of the few dishes not listed by its Burmese name on the menu; I thought it did not have enough of the ground catfish. She recommended adding more fried things – there is a list of them at the top of the menu; we did not add any.
Tea Leaf Salad – not enough of the crunchy/seedy bits; mostly lettuce. Disappointing.
Rainbow Salad – OK, better than the tea leaf salad
Burmese Curry chicken – came with rice and a few sprigs of broccoli. Chicken was tender and flavorful.
Garlic noodle with Chicken; came with a bowl of broth that I didn’t get to taste. Chicken was excellent.
I can’t recall the name of my favorite dish, under the “snack” section of the menu – a large bowl of pork innards (stomach, intestine, liver) stewed in a rich slightly sweet soy broth. I was in hog heaven though the intestine was too chewy for some people (and some people would not touch any of it). A tart slightly spicy dipping sauce came with it ($6).
Tea rice – they invented this dish and it was a wonderful surprise: a large mound of white rice generously interspersed with fermented tea leaves, accompanied by shredded lettuce and some tomato. Excellent and a great value ($2).
Faluda (dessert) rich, milky, boba balls, topped with ice cream; fairly sweet
She comped two desserts:
Semolina cake – not too sweet, excellent
Coconut jelly – not great (bouncy – maybe made with agar)
A fun experience; great value.