The restaurant's head chef met us in the morning in front of a buzzing neighborhood street market. For the next hour, we picked, poked and plucked our way through crowds and stalls. While we walked, the chef explained the origin of each ingredient and its use- guiding us as we selected fresh herbs, spices, produce and meat.
After stocking up, we transferred back to Monsoon- located downtown in a beautifully remodeled colonial building. A special private cooking area had been set up on the restaurant's top floor. After a quick demo, we set to work creating several Burmese favorites: Ah Kyaw Sone (vegtable tempura), Lephet Thoke (tea leaf salad), Penilay Kyarzan Hincho (lentil soup), Kyethar Kalathar Chet (chicken and gourd curry), Nga Hin Sebyan (butterfish curry) and Ohn Hitamin (coconut rice). We learned new chopping techniques and used a mortar and pestle. The experience was a blast!
Of course the best part came at the end when we sat down and enjoyed the fruits of our labor!
Definitely call in advance as the restaurant needs several days warning to organize everything.