800 bowls review – bowling over the Yangon dumpling competition

800 bowls review – bowling over the Yangon dumpling competition

New downtown spot 800 bowls serves up the best soup dumplings and hand pulled noodles in Yangon.

It’s only been a couple of months since 800 bowls opened its doors, but already it’s made its mark on the Yangon scene. Luckily, it’s not just hype; 800 bowls has the best xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and la mian (hand pulled noodles) in Yangon. Well, according to us.

We’ve already sung the praises of the xiao long bao at 800 bowls in our round up review of xiao long bao in Yangon (where it ranked ahead of Xi Yang Yang  and Imperial Garden).

To recap, while we wish 800 bowls included a little bit more soup in their little dumpling parcels, overall they currently serve the best xiao long bao in Yangon. The crab and pork dumplings are our favorite, with a sweeter broth, but plain pork is always a satisfying classic.

Pork xiao long bao soup dumplings at 800 bowls
Pork xiao long bao. Yum. Full stop.

So with that covered, on to the rest of the menu.

The first thing you’ll see when you enter 800 bowls is a chef expertly making hand pulled noodles, throwing and stretching dough to make springy and extremely long noodles called la mian. A real oddity today, given the ubiquity of factory made noodles stocking supermarket shelves.

Hand pulling noodles (la mian)
Noodle pulling expert

We sampled these noodles in a bowl with broth and spiced beef. We were actually expecting something akin to the Sichuanese dan dan mian, typically served up without broth and lovingly coated in a spicy minced meat sauce. But we weren’t disappointed with this broth-based version: the delectable noodles and the tender flavorful slices of beef quickly erased our initially crushed expectations.

Hand pulled noodles with beef at 800 bowls
Hand pulled noodles (la mian) with spiced beef

For accompaniments we went with some baby bak choi stir fried in garlic. The tender greens were perfectly cooked, though laden with an overwhelming amount of garlic. That can be easily resolved by brushing aside the topping, and giving them a swirl in your la mian noodle broth.

To top it all off, 800 bowls in a properly nice place to eat in. With high ceilings, solid wooden tables and a Ming-looking vase or two, it’s trendy without feeling pretentious.

800 bowls menu


800 Bowls Restaurant

Price: Around 10,000 MMK per person

Must orders: Xiao long bao, la mian

Good for: Everyone (but make sure you know how to eat xiao long bao first).

Address: Maha Bandula Road, between 47th and 48th street, Botahtaung Township, Yangon

3 thoughts on “800 bowls review – bowling over the Yangon dumpling competition”

  • Hey… great review! I would totally recommend this place. I would have to agree that the XLB (what the ‘cool kids’ call xiao long bao) are the best in town, although there must be more than a few more places that make them! I would recommend the Xtreme XLB – which were excellent. The noodles were good and I loved that they were home made but were a little bit starchy on my visit and not quite up to noodle standards in China… but maybe I am seeking eternal perfection and longevity in my noodles… the quest continues…

    • We have to live up to the cool kids! (In HK chubby babies earn the moniker of XLB for their squidgy cheeks).

      Did you enjoy the cheesy XLB? We were daunted by the concept, but will clearly have to give it a go during a return visit.

      Agree, better hand pulled noodles exist – perhaps not in Yangon as of yet though? Definitely a never ending quest for noodle perfection.

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