The awarded multiple outlet brand adds a new dimension to offer a pantry selection for Indian Homes
April 2022: Burma Burma Restaurant and Tea Room is an amalgamation of culture, authentic taste, and cooking from Burma (Myanmar) lovingly prepared from treasured family recipes. The much-loved brand now launches the Burma Burma Pantry, an extension of a treasured Burmese culinary heritage, bringing the authentic tastes and flavours of Burma to Indian kitchens and homes.
Envisioned as a space, by co-founder Ankit Gupta to go beyond just a restaurant experience, Burma Burma is loved by diners across the country. The launch of the Burma Burma pantry is an extension of the taste profile and much-loved flavours already served up at the dine-in space. The current pantry portfolio comprises nine exclusive products like the Khowsuey Curry Paste; Malar, an all-purpose Burmese Sauce; Plain Laphet, a Burmese Tea Leaf dressing; as well as a Spicy Laphet. There are Lotus Stem Chips; Balachaung, a topping to put on noodles, rice or salads; Crunchy nuts mix as well. The collection of fine teas is another very exciting part of the pantry. The brand has already witnessed the huge untapped market potential with sales increasing month on month by average of 150% since the introduction of the pantry line. The pantry line is in major expansion mode and is already contributing to 3% of the total revenue. Burma Burma pantry has a plethora of choices designed to add spice and flavour to your daily meals, from signature toppings, yummy snacks, exquisite spice mixes, as well as exotic teas. Every offering is inspired by Ankit’s mother’s kitchen and designed to be a journey from one home kitchen to another.
Inspired by Ankit’s mother, Ms. Urmila Gupta, Burma Burma has been created to reflect a history inspired by surrounding countries and ancient traditions. The brand has grown from strength to strength, winning multiple awards, with presence in six cities. The brand launched its largest ever outlet in Kolkata in 2020, which is the largest one yet, despite the pandemic, and was a first foray into the eastern region of the country. Burma Burma achieved 18% operating profit despite the pandemic and current revenues are matching pre-pandemic numbers. As part of its expansion strategy, the brand has also launched DIY kits during the initial lockdowns and recently launched new menus and its own D2C website for the pantry. Future plans include raising a round of funding and growing the restaurant business by another 12 to 14 outlets.
The aim of the Burma Burma Pantry is to help consumers replicate traditional Burmese flavours at home for quick meal combos. The pastes, sauces, dressings, snacks, spice mixes and tea blends have begun retailing on the brand’s website and will also be available on e-commerce aggregators soon, as well as to modern and general trade. These products have been specially created by Chef Ansab Khan of Burma Burma, long-time friend of co-founder Ankit Gupta and head chef of the restaurant. Having travelled the length and breadth of Burma, Chef Ansab Khan has first-hand experience that translates into the authenticity of the dishes at the restaurant. This culinary knowledge and requests from loyal patrons have encouraged him to launch nine exclusive products for the Pantry line. The vision of the duo is to make these Burmese essentials, favoured staples in Indian kitchens. Chef-made pastes, sauces, condiments & spice mixes are sold online so that people can enjoy their daily cooking, fall in love with Burma’s culinary delights and experiment with their Laphets and Khowsueys.
“Our patrons have embraced Burma Burma’s food, and everyone has their favourites on the menu. The idea of Pantry is to make these favourites & more, a staple in Indian households. Therefore, we decided to launch exclusive products that include ingredients from Burma. We bottle our preparations so that you can make Burmese dishes at home easily.” – says Head Chef Ansab Khan.
Inspired by a Slice of History
Burma Burma is a labour of love and tribute to a lost slice of heritage and history. Ms. Urmila Gupta describes her hometown in Burma as charming – it was the hub for trading and cultural activities and in the 60’s life was good until the civil war broke out. Thousands of Burmese Indians were forced to flee the country, and among them was Ms Gupta (then Saroj Modi) and her family. All that was left was a treasure trove of memories and recipes from her erstwhile home in Burma.
Talking about the inspiration behind Burma Burma Restaurant and Tea Room, co-founder Ankit Gupta talks about how his childhood involved enjoying hearty family meals of Khowsuey, Laphets and Thoke (Salads) and trips to Burma. “Burma Burma Restaurant and Tea Room was a natural result that sprung from the thought that the world deserved to taste the food I had grown up eating. My mother is the single driving force behind the restaurant, she has curated and tested every bit of the pantry products be it the signature toppings, yummy snacks, exquisite spice mixes, or the exotic teas; every offering is inspired from my mother’s kitchen.”
Reliving her interesting experiences and serendipitous foundation of Burma Burma, Ms Gupta says, “Life in Burma was comparatively simple, our days involved waking up to freshly made Baos by my mom for breakfast and playing around our town square after school. Since we lived in a smaller town called Prome in the outskirts of Yangon, everyone in the community knew each other and lunch would involve mothers frantically sending jars of what’s being made in the kitchen for their neighbours.”
Burma Burma has been founded on the same values, to create a community around the love for food and share recipes made with love. Ankit joined hands with his childhood friend Chirag Chhajer, a food enthusiast, and an avid traveller to turn the dream of owning an establishment into reality. Via Burma Burma, Ankit and Chirag want the end consumers to experience Burma (Myanmar) holistically. Coastal, forest, tropical, and mountainous cultures within Burma have all contributed to the rich tastes and aromas one experiences in each bite.