Myanmese food is tasty, robust and a country cousin of Thai and Indian once removed from Chinese. The number of places where a visitor can try this cuisine before progressing to roadside stalls and a possible helping of E.coli is limited, but European and Chinese establishments, and good hotel dining rooms, take up the slack. On the whole, prices are low. But wherever you eat, do it before 9pm. For economy and want of much else to do, the town goes dark early. Pandomar Restaurant 78C Inya Road The restaurant occupies a restored colonial house with Bagan carvings, friezes and a trompe l'oeil. Owner Sonny Aung Khin spent years in self-exile running a Myanmese restaurant in Bangkok. He reduces the notorious levels of oil in the curries. 'It's a status symbol,' he says. 'But it puts off the tourists.' He revives unusual dishes such as balhchaung, fried dried shrimps in garlic onion and chilli and a British-Indian concoction. Be sure to try the buttermilk fish. Sandy's Myanmar Cuisine Kandawgyi Palace Hotel Kan Yeik Tha Road Myanmese women are go-getters. Dawn Sandy Mien Sein found that there was nowhere couth to eat the national cuisine in her lunch hour, so she started her own restaurant. She kept moving it, but now it lodges satisfactorily on a verandah of the large Kandawgyi Palace Hotel overlooking the city's lake. This favourite spot among expatriates serves an authentic range of a la carte Myanmese dishes. Sandy's wins prizes for them, especially the national favourite mohinga, a fish and rice noodle soup. Aung Thuka Off Dhammazedi Road, opposite the Savoy Hotel At the risk of ruining this place by recommending it too much: go. It's a shed on a concrete base, with Formica table tops and a fast turnover of lunching locals, but they won't mind if you linger. It's not just good, it's friendly - even by Myanmese standards. Language isn't a problem: just point at the lineup of curries in pots at the counter. Extras such as raw vegetables, sauces and soup are included. Your driver will know how to find it. And it's cheap enough to take him in too. The Strand Grill Strand Hotel, 92 Strand Road In this 'grande dame' restaurant dinner won't cost much less than US$50, and that's without a bottle from its fine cellar. Lobster thermidor is a signature dish, and deer and lamb are memorable. Starters include impeccable foie gras balls and truffles deep fried in a bread coating, called 'doughnuts'. This being the Strand you'll find yourself on marble floors, beneath chandeliers and surrounded by pillars and black and gold Bagan prints. Le Planteur Restaurant and Bar 16 Sawmaha Street (off Natumauk Road) Le Planteur serves French-Swiss food in the garden of a period house a stroll away from the Shwedagon Pagoda. Choose from the a la carte menu or set barbecue dinner. Chef and owner Boris Grange is always happy to be asked for, and to talk about, his rack of piglet. A Swiss newspaper described the restaurant as a corner of paradise and a hidden treasure to savour. Bet you never thought of Yangon like that.