IN The Lord Of The Rings there are many rings of power, but there is only One Ring.
Similarly there are many cheap lunch places in Civic, but there is only one Burmese Curry Place.
The Burmo occupies the Northbourne end of Alinga Street in the bus interchange with its tables joyfully sprawled over the corpse of the imitation curry shop which dared to set up next door to it.
A bit like the tight choreography of the Aldi checkout the Burmo demands its customers make the whole system work.
Grab a drink and queue for the cash register. Choose two numbers from big board and let them know if you’re take away ($7) or eat in ($8), grab your eating irons after making payment (no cards, no receipts), join the second queue to collect your food as it is served up. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT YOU QUEUE BEHIND THE PERSON WHO WAS IN FRONT OF YOU FOR THE CASH REGISTER, or you will cock up the whole line and the entire joint will, in unison, roll their eyeballs expressively in your direction.
When you finish eating you are required to drop your plate into the big grey bin by the door, leaving the table tidy for the next patron.
Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi had nothing on The Burmese Curry Place
(It should be noted the Burmo’s family staff are a smiley happy bunch, it’s the other customers who enforce order)
There is considerable heated debate as to what is the best thing to order. The correct answer is 7 and 4. Which is fish cakes and chicken with prawns.
Once you understand the system there’s a comfort to it and the fact its topped off with the best lunch in town for a mere $7 just makes it a shining jewel in this city.
[This article is the tenth in a series on cheap lunches to be found in and around the city. If you have any suggestions leave them in the comments or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org . The complete series can be found on our cheap lunches tag]