A trip to Burma Bazaar in George Town will get you more than over-sized teddy bears, cute gifts and other collectables. Just follow the scent of the food being cooked, and you’ll come across stalls making and serving the much talked about Atho Noodles. What are they? Boiled just like noodles and then fried with a mix of sauteed veggies! We love the spice trail the famous Burmese delicacy leaves behind. It might take you a while to find the right stalls that sell the perfect bowl, but if you’re up for the challenge, it’s worth the trial and error. And it costs about INR 70 only!
We stopped by a stall in Burma Bazaar at the head of Jehangir Street. The men show up at 4 pm and then get to work with boiling water for the noodles, chopping vegetables at the speed of light and preparing every element that goes into making a bowl of Atho Noodles. According to Google, another stall that we visited is called Aziz Atho Stall, but if you speak with the men making your food, it doesn’t have a name. In fact, they won’t even tell you their name unless you’re a regular! But the stall has been in that same place for 38 years and was started by the chef’s wife, but then she had other responsibilities and stepped away to let her husband take over. There are also other Burmese stalls in and around this area that offer Atho noodles, but we decided to stick to this one.
Walk around Burma Bazaar, and you will find a variety of hand-tossed atho! The Atho that you are now served in Burma Bazaar sticks to the traditional style by cooking noodles with cabbage, onions, tamarind, chilli powder and lemon juice and then hand-tossed in garlic oil. It might not be the most pleasant sight to witness, but the food does taste pretty good. They also serve khowsuey, a Burmese dish which is similar to Atho, but with the addition of coconut milk. You can also hog it down with some egg Bejo soup to warm up your evenings.