Eating ft Drinking
Cheap, fresh and plentiful, Ngapali's seafood (particularly fresh squid dunked in spiced ginger-and-garlic sauce) ranks easily among Myanmar's best dining. The long lights that line the western horizon offshore at dusk are fishing boats using bulbs to attract squid.
MAIN ROAD RESTAURANTS
A dozen take-your-pick open-air restaurants cleverly cluster outside the gates of hotels and their higher-priced restaurants. These have practically identical menus (posted in English) and practically identical prices. A dish of crab, squid or barracuda runs about K2000 or K2500, barbecued tiger prawn is K3500 to K5000, and lobster is K15.000 and up.
A few good choices: Mingalabar (Ngapali Rd) Outside Sandoway Resort Moonlight (Ngapali Rd; £ 7.30am-10pm Oct-Apr) Outside Amata Paradise Restaurant (Ngapali Rd) Outside Bayview and Silver Beach Seagull (Ngapali Rd) Near Royal Beach Hotel Smile Restaurant (Ngapali Rd) Outside Ngapali Beach Hotel Two Brothers Restaurant (Ngapali Rd) Outside Amata
All things said, food tends to be a bit more nicely prepared inside the hotels - though you pay more for it. A few stand-outs include the following:
Laguna Lodge/Lili's Bar A cute spot in the palm-shaded sand with a lazy dog or two, fake turtles and $2 mojitos or $4 plates of pasta.
Pleasant View Restaurant (near Pleasant View Resort; dishes K4000-K10.000) Set on a rocky islet at the beach's south end (you often have to wade through knee-deep surf to get to it), this stylish eatery serves very tasty seafood for less than most hotels; there are also K5000 margaritas.
Catch/Sunset Bar (Bayview Beach Resort; dishes $5-24) Though Bayview's actual restaurant is away from the beach, everyone eats from the Catch's menu at seaside Sunset Bar. It's good for fillets of barracuda, burgers and pizzas.
Amata Resort Restaurant :This hotel restaurant overlooks the pool and beach. It serves pretty good pizzas ($8 to $10) and a real-deal beef burger ($8), plus pricier fare.
Mondi stand (bowl K200; fH 6am-6pm) Mondi is the Rakhaing-style fish noodle soup downed by locals for breakfast. It's similar to mohinga but comes with chillies not peanuts, and often eel not fish. Sittwe's best - many claim - is served at the small mondi stand facing the city hall. If you're feeling frisky ask for the ultra spicy abu shabu. Beware: students pour in for lunch.
Gisspanadi : This friendly family Chinese/Burmese restaurant -along a strip of eateries, just east of city hall -is a standard spot, busy with local men sitting over tables of fried fish fingers (better than they sound), grilled prawns and Myanmar beer bottles.
River Valley Seafood Restaurant : Popular with many foreigner visitors, the River Valley has ample open-air space, wall murals and African safari photos the style was 'inspired by my dreams', said the jovial ponytailed and moustached owner. Plenty of seafood, plus a handful of spicy Rakhaing-style dishes. Some waiters wear bowties.
There are also a few waterfront places worth considering:
Kyig Nu Yeik (Main Rd & Seaside) Tables on the sand, 1.5 miles south from the new clock tower; good for beer and K800 noodles as the sun sets.
May Yu (Strand Rd) Seafood spot done up like a Caribbean shack, with a blue-and-green wood house and plank-board deck facing water.
View Point : Simple restaurant on Bay of Bengal, 1.5 miles south of the centre via Strand Rd.
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