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Pa Lian, Burmese Restaurant in Wheaton

Pa Lian, Burmese Restaurant in Wheaton
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  • Pa Lian, Burmese Restaurant in Wheaton

    Post #1 - March 6th, 2018, 9:06 pm
    Post #1 - March 6th, 2018, 9:06 pm Post #1 - March 6th, 2018, 9:06 pm
    I noticed this new Burmese restaurant in Wheaton, so we decided to check it out. As I've never had Burmese food before, I wasn't sure what to expect. It was very good. I took some photos, but I don't think they came out too well.

    We started with Burmese-style Samosas. They also brought us some vegetables with an interesting spicy fish sauce.
    IMG_0309.jpg Samosas

    We also had the "stew goat-meat curry".
    IMG_0310.jpg Goat curry

    And the "Stew catfish curry"
    IMG_0312.jpg Catfish curry

    Also some chicken soup, which had an interesting strong black pepper flavor.
    They also brought a green tea salad, which was really interesting (and good).
    IMG_0313.jpg Green tea salad

    Their menu also has a number of stir fried items, and Burmese-style salads. Everything we tried was unique and interesting.

    They don't seem to have a web site, but they have some information on a facebook page.

    Pa Lian
    243 E Geneva Rd, Wheaton, 60187
    331-716-7905
  • Post #2 - March 7th, 2018, 6:33 pm
    Post #2 - March 7th, 2018, 6:33 pm Post #2 - March 7th, 2018, 6:33 pm
    Thanks for sharing. Looks pretty good.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #3 - March 10th, 2018, 9:19 pm
    Post #3 - March 10th, 2018, 9:19 pm Post #3 - March 10th, 2018, 9:19 pm
    My wife and I just checked this out today (thanks for the heads up), loved it. I'm 99% sure this is the only place in the burbs where you can get tea leaf salad, and theirs was right on par with others we've had (including in Beijing). The catfish curry stew was excellent, as well. Looking forward to going back.

    Seems to be a husband/wife team running the place, and they offered the choice of water or tea when we were seated -- the tea was on the house, and was quite good (oolong, maybe?).
  • Post #4 - April 9th, 2018, 8:47 pm
    Post #4 - April 9th, 2018, 8:47 pm Post #4 - April 9th, 2018, 8:47 pm
    Thanks for posting about this place Pancake--what a great find!
    I work near Wheaton a few times a month and had the chance to stop for lunch today. I've only had Burmese food a few times so can't speak to authenticity but the items I tried were delicious.
    The owner couldn't be nicer and was happy to recommend some representative dishes. I had the 'roti-esque' Burmese Puri with chickpeas and fried onions (listed on the menu as a breakfast item) and the Nangyi Thoke Salad with rice noodles, ground chicken, shallots with a tamarind sauce. Both were terrific!

    IMG_0190.jpg Burmese Puri with chickpeas and fried onions

    IMG_0191.jpg Nangyi Thoke Salad


    This place is worthy of LTH attention--I'm looking forward to working my way through the menu. For some reason, I'm having trouble attaching the menu pics but I'll working on getting those up when I have a chance (it looks like the menu is posted on FB).
  • Post #5 - April 13th, 2018, 10:05 am
    Post #5 - April 13th, 2018, 10:05 am Post #5 - April 13th, 2018, 10:05 am
    This looks amazing.... hoping to try it out this weekend for dinner!

    Does anyone know if they serve beer/wine? If not, are they BYO?

    Being the weekend, it would be nice to enjoy a bottle of vino with our meal...;)!
  • Post #6 - April 13th, 2018, 10:22 am
    Post #6 - April 13th, 2018, 10:22 am Post #6 - April 13th, 2018, 10:22 am
    Interesting. Another food option. Will try soon.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #7 - April 13th, 2018, 1:15 pm
    Post #7 - April 13th, 2018, 1:15 pm Post #7 - April 13th, 2018, 1:15 pm
    wineaux wrote:This looks amazing.... hoping to try it out this weekend for dinner!

    Does anyone know if they serve beer/wine? If not, are they BYO?

    Being the weekend, it would be nice to enjoy a bottle of vino with our meal...;)!


    They do not server any booze. As far as BYOB, I would assume so, but you'd be better off calling first to confirm. I know I've been in the wrong cracking a bomber before 100% confirming in the past...
  • Post #8 - April 13th, 2018, 1:44 pm
    Post #8 - April 13th, 2018, 1:44 pm Post #8 - April 13th, 2018, 1:44 pm
    I was really excited to hear about this place, its 5 miles away from home.

    I've only been once. On the plus, the service was very cheerful and accommodating.

    I ordered two dishes that I've sampled at other Burmese spots– mohinga and tea leaf salad. Unfortunately they came in under the bar, definitely way below a recent visit to Family House on Devon. Tea leaf salad was okay, heavily dressed, though light on the tea leaves and about 75% fried legumes. Not much in terms of vegetation.

    The mohinga was bad, gloppy and quite flavorless. I was intrigued that it was served with garnishes on the side for customization, but not much could save this lifeless bowl. The only points I can give it were for not over-cooked noodles.

    I will for sure try other dishes and I will follow reports on this thread in terms of what others enjoy. But unfortunately, my baseline order fell flat.
  • Post #9 - April 17th, 2018, 9:48 pm
    Post #9 - April 17th, 2018, 9:48 pm Post #9 - April 17th, 2018, 9:48 pm
    Hi,

    Dropped in for my second visit this evening. It was near closing time, I had a snack of Burmese samosa, spring roll and milk tea.

    What is unique about this restaurant, it is a menu entirely of Burmese food offerings. The Burmese restaurants visited in Ft Wayne, Indiana, Indianapolis, Iowa, Devon Ave and now Highwood, IL, there were Malaysian and/or Thai food dominating the menu. Highwood is a relatively new player whose menu has Chinese, Poke and sushi offered, too.

    When I was there the first time, I enjoyed a tea leaf type salad devoid of tea leaves. Instead there were dried fish (similar to what is offered for Korean panchon) trimmed of their heads and tail fins. I have eaten these 'little dead fish' intact, it was my first experience seeing these trimmed.

    There are a number of weekend-only dishes and at least one that is Sunday-only. There is really quite a bit to explore of their menu.

    Wheaton is not the other side of the world, though Burma certainly is. Distance is only a relative issue.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - April 18th, 2018, 6:06 am
    Post #10 - April 18th, 2018, 6:06 am Post #10 - April 18th, 2018, 6:06 am
    Here's a few lousy cell phone pics of the menu (I couldn't attach the pics to the post without scaling down the size)

    IMG_0199.jpg Menu 2

    IMG_0198.jpg Menu 1
  • Post #11 - September 9th, 2018, 9:12 pm
    Post #11 - September 9th, 2018, 9:12 pm Post #11 - September 9th, 2018, 9:12 pm
    Just ate there tonight. Menu is slightly different -- including having dishes written out in Roman letters rather than Burmese script, but also with Burmese dishes divided into Chicken, Pork (mostly pork belly, we were told), Goat, and Seafood.

    Enthusiastic owners -- though with that little edge of panic that lets you know they'd like to have more tables filled. Which is why I'm writing this -- to encourage you to visit.

    I'd heard that the tea leaves salad as a stand-out, so ordered that -- and it was as good (and interesting) as I'd heard, fresh and crunchy and flavorful. The Pe-Eih-Kya-Kwe (Burmese fried bread with Vetana -- a yellow pea and fried onion topping) sounded interesting, and while it needed a bit of the offered hot sauce, we enjoyed it. The Kyet-Thar Arloo ThaYetTiHin (E02 on the menu -- chicken curry with mango and potatoes) was lovely, with a slight back note of shrimp paste that reminded me a bit of Filipino food I've had.

    None of the food is very spicy, but there is a bottle of hot sauce on the table, and small bowls of appropriate hot sauce are brought out with the foods -- at least if you let them know you like a bit of spice.

    Really enjoyed the meal and, even though it's not close, already planning to go back. Very tasty food that's a little different from other SEAsian cuisines (though not entirely alien), in an attractive setting with delightful people. Definitely recommended.
    Last edited by Cynthia on February 19th, 2019, 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #12 - February 18th, 2019, 8:43 pm
    Post #12 - February 18th, 2019, 8:43 pm Post #12 - February 18th, 2019, 8:43 pm
    Any recent intel? I haven’t been back since my first lackluster outing. Wasn’t there an LTH lunch here a ways back? Reports?
  • Post #13 - March 22nd, 2019, 4:59 pm
    Post #13 - March 22nd, 2019, 4:59 pm Post #13 - March 22nd, 2019, 4:59 pm
    Had an event not far away, so decided to route myself past Pa Lian, even though I didn't need a whole meal. Place is still bright and cheerful. Owner is still eager to explain and recommend. Tried the Burmese spring rolls, which were nice. Had to have tea leaf salad again (my real reason for stopping), and it was still delicious and bright and crunchy.

    Granted, it was a Thursday night and I was there fairly early, but when I left at 6:15 and only a couple of tables were taken, I worried a bit. Hope this place gets enough business to stick around. I want to go back and try a few more dishes, when I'm not on my way somewhere else.

    As for whether it lives up to the expectations of someone who knows Burmese food -- I have no idea. That said, one of the tables that did have customers was two Asian men who chatted up a storm with the owner -- not in English -- so guessing they were hunting for "back home" cooking. So maybe it compares well to other places.

    So far, everything I've had has been either pretty good or really tasty -- and always just a bit unfamiliar. As a result, I've been pleased -- but it might not live up to expectations of someone who has something else to compare it to.
    Last edited by Cynthia on March 22nd, 2019, 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #14 - March 22nd, 2019, 5:02 pm
    Post #14 - March 22nd, 2019, 5:02 pm Post #14 - March 22nd, 2019, 5:02 pm
    Hi,

    I'm glad you checked. I was nearby earlier this week, but had to bow to the wishes of an elder.

    Thanks!

    Regards.
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - May 7th, 2019, 12:39 am
    Post #15 - May 7th, 2019, 12:39 am Post #15 - May 7th, 2019, 12:39 am
    Thanks to Cathy and SHHFE for introducing me to this, one of my favorite restaurants. I have brought a non-LTH group I lead here, as well as come at least 2 or 3 times myself. Sunday May 5, I had two activities far from me but flanking Pa Lian, so I succeeded in arranging time in between them for lunch (as an alternative to the chance that the first activity might have been too interesting to allow the time). Since I was also going to Tapas for dinner, I ordered 3 salads, taking about 2/3 of each home.

    DSCN0767.JPG -------------- Green Tea Salad
    DSCN0772.JPG Ginger Salad
    DSCN0773.JPG Squid salad


    While waiting for my food, I noticed that their tofu based dishes were (or could be) made with chickpea tofu instead of soybean. Since I have a friend that is allergic to soybeans, and I am on a dietary regimen that is supposed to eschew them, I had to try it, and ordered it "to go" (as I write this, I have not eaten it yet)

    DSCN0775.JPG Mango (chickpea) Tofu


    Just before creating this post, I figured I'd see how hard it was to make chickpea tofu, and found this recipe that seems to imply it is easy, I will have to try it. Also the recipe indicates it is particularly a Burmese ingredient, which is interesting. I suspect perhaps one could make other kinds of tofu also, my first attempt would be lima bean, since lima bean is one of my favorite hummus variations.

    https://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/burme ... kpea-tofu/
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #16 - May 20th, 2019, 9:28 am
    Post #16 - May 20th, 2019, 9:28 am Post #16 - May 20th, 2019, 9:28 am
    I finally made to Pa Lian this weekend following a soccer tournament. The owner was very nice and pleased that I had some idea about Burmese food. The tea leaf salad was very good, crunchy and slightly bitter (although I'd prefer more tea) Better than Family House to me. We also had the chickpea tofu starter, which was a ringer for Italian panelle, stir fried egg noodles with chicken and one of the chicken curries. A very solid meal and a place I would go regularly if it was more convenient.

    Note that the owner was clear that he needs more business. There were maybe 4 tables taken on a Friday night. Please support this place if you can.
  • Post #17 - June 29th, 2019, 9:12 pm
    Post #17 - June 29th, 2019, 9:12 pm Post #17 - June 29th, 2019, 9:12 pm
    Dinner there this evening. Once again, thoroughly enjoyed everything. Had a friend along, and sharing made it possible to have a few more dishes. Started with the tea leaf salad, as I can't resist it.

    Leh-Phat-Thoke: Tea leaves salad. Fermented tea leaf tossed with Burmese dressing and garnished with fried fava bean, yellow bean, peanuts, sesame seed, sliced tomatoes, cabbage and lime.

    Then tried two dishes I'd never had before:

    Wetthar PonYe-Gyi Chat: Chunks of pork belly with "horse gram bean paste simmered in onion, garlic and ginger base curry"--kind of like a heavy Mexican mole. Quite good. And while pork belly is never lean, the amount of fat on the pork belly was reasonably modest -- but still luscious.

    And Nan Gyi Thoke: Warm rice noodles with Burmese dressing, garnished with shredded chicken, green onion, curry, and cilantro. Wow, was this good.

    Not quite as empty as before, but owner is still eager for more business. That said, only recommending it because it's good and I want it around for a while, not because I feel sorry for the owner. Not close by, but definitely worth the trip.
    Last edited by Cynthia on July 1st, 2019, 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #18 - June 29th, 2019, 10:32 pm
    Post #18 - June 29th, 2019, 10:32 pm Post #18 - June 29th, 2019, 10:32 pm
    Hi,

    I was there with a friend about 10 days ago. We were initially the only customers, though people kept showing up as we progressed through dinner.

    We had a meeting to attend right afterwards and did not wish to be sleepy, so we ordered on the light side. We shared their chickpea tofu, ginger salad and a pork belly curry.

    It was my friend's first exposure to Burmese food. He was musing who would like to know about his place among his friends. Just on his response, dinner was a hit.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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