A taste of real Intha food, 10 mins out of Nyaung Shwe (near Inle Lake), in picturesque wooden huts.
Full disclosure: one of us had food poisoning before visiting Pwe Taw Win. So we dialed down a bit in terms of quantity and adventure when ordering.
Regardless, the verdict was unanimous – this is one of the best places to eat while visiting Inle lake.
First impression is that Pwe Taw Win is beautiful. With rows of little bungalows and a long driveway through lush greenery, it’s immediately clear you’ve arrived somewhere special.
The food on offer is Intha, an ethnic group largely grouped around Inle Lake. We didn’t order the (incredible but almost excessive looking) Intha set out of respect for our ailing dining companion. But we ended up with a light, flavourful array of dishes, with a few unique touches.
For example: the rice. The picture above shows how the rice arrives, wrapped in fragrant – and pretty – lotus leaves, instantly prompting a paparazzi of smartphone snaps. Unwrapping the neat packages unleashed a wave of steam with a light aroma of earthy lotus leaf and fragrant rice.
But there’s much more to a meal than just rice… There were a lot of salads on offer – we went with the ubiquitous tea leaf salad, avocado salad and a chayote leaf salad. The tea leaf was excellent, not surprising given the abundance of tea plantations in the area (pro-tip: buy fresh pickled tea outside the Pindaya Caves).
But the highlight was the chayote leaf salad. Addictively nutty with a light dressing and tossed with red onions and a hint of red chili, it was gone in minutes.
Our sole meat-based dish was pounded pork, but tweaked with a request for zero spiciness for one of our group. That was probably a mistake, as the bland, dry pork likely bore little resemblance to how the dish is normally served. Perhaps not a fair reflection of how its normally served here.
Overall, we loved this place. Especially the atmosphere; special without being becoming pretentious. The only challenge with visiting and revisiting Pwe Taw Win is that it’s slightly outside of Nyaung Shwe, so likely to require a short taxi ride (if you can find one). But it’s well worth it (even if you’re not on top of your eating game due to a dodgy belly)…
Pwe Taw Win Nature’s Restaurant
Price: Around 25,000 MMK for 5 people
Must orders: Lotus rice, salads
Good for: A fancy experience at a reasonable price while visiting Inle Lake
Address: Yone Gyi, Nyaung Shwe (google maps)