28 May 2024

Two Canberra hospitality power-couples team up for Rangoon collaboration

| Lucy Ridge
Start the conversation
Two men sit at restaurant table.

Gerald Ong from Project Enoki and Kyaw Swe Ko from Myanmar Corner are collaborating on a menu for ‘Rangoon’. Photo: Esther Loke.

The trend of restaurant collaborations and pop-ups continues with this very exciting event from Burmese suburban gem Myanmar Corner and cult-favourite Project Enoki. The two businesses are coming together to combine the very best foods of Singapore and Myanmar for one day only.

The collaboration is called ‘Rangoon’, the previous name of Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon.

Project Enoki is the brainchild of Gerald Ong and his partner Esther Loke, who also runs online bakery and catering shop Sourdog Provisions. Their stint at Verity Lane has led to a dedicated following of eager eaters who love their creativity and dedication to Singaporean cuisine. Gerald was most recently heading up Mrs Wang at Tiger Lane but has since left for a private catering job, so this is a rare chance for fans to eat his food.

Noodles with crunchy topping

Nan Gyi Thoke is a stir-fried noodle dish from Myanmar. Photo: Myanmar Corner.

Gerald and Esther travelled in Myanmar and were excited to revisit their favourite dishes at Myanmar Corner when it opened in 2020. They quickly became regular customers and got to know married couple Aye and Kyaw Swe Ko (who just goes by Ko), who own and run Myanmar Corner. In turn, Aye and Ko became regulars at Project Enoki and a culinary friendship was born.

READ ALSO ‘Just don’t do it’ doesn’t work when it comes to foraging in Canberra

The two couples would often cook for each other and found many similarities between the two cuisines.

“We became close quickly because we’re both couples in the same industry,” Aye said.

“Ko is a very home-style cook and Gerald is a bit more fine dining. But when we have dinner, they always say, ‘Oh, we have something similar’.”

Project Enoki owners Gerald and Esther

Gerald Ong and Esther Loke ran the Project Enoki pop-up in Verity Lane Market. Esther now runs online bakery and catering business Sourdog. Photo: Supplied

Esther and Aye both told Region that they’ve been planning to do a collaboration event “for ages” but the busy schedules of chefs made it difficult to find time.

Esther explained that the cities of Singapore and Yangon have a lot in common, which translates to the food.

“Both of them were previously port cities, so there were huge amounts of outside influences, and that translates into the base flavours and ingredients of each place,” she told Region.

READ ALSO Lebanese restaurant Azima invites Canberrans to feast

Gerald agreed: “There are influences of Chinese, Thai and Indian cooking. What’s more, both cities were under British rule, and underwent the same town planning designs.

“It’s amazing how many crossovers and underlying cultural links there are, and we are both finding out more as we research together.”

Project Enoki at Verity Lane Market

Dishes like Project Enoki’s steamed scallop with vermicelli, black pepper sauce and hazelnuts might feature on the Rangoon menu. Photo: Project Enoki.

The collaborative meal will be a five-course set menu affair featuring each chef’s signature dishes and unique combinations of ingredients and cuisine.

The menu is still being finalised, but Myanmar Corner’s tea leaf salad will likely be a feature. My favourite Project Enoki dish, Scallops with black pepper, will also be served.

There are two sittings – lunch or dinner – and if previous Project Enoki pop-up events are anything to go by, there’s a strong chance it will sell out quickly.

Rangoon will be held on Sunday, 30 June, with one sitting from 12 noon to 2 pm and another from 5 pm to 7 pm. Reservations are essential, visit Sourdog Provisions website to book.

Myanmar Corner is located at 38/68 Dalkin Cres, Casey. Follow Myanmar Corner on Instagram or Facebook.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.