Griffiths: New cafe gets the bite on ‘The Burmo’

“Showing what a big town Canberra has become, there’s a competitor for the Burmese lunch dollar,” says “Lowbrow” columnist JOHN GRIFFITHS

FOR some years the gold standard of cheap luncheoning in Civic has been the directly named “Burmese Curry Place” at the bus interchange. “The Burmo”, as it’s fondly known, has been churning out $7 lunches with the precision of a military junta and a degree of crowd self-management that would make Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi” blush.

But showing what a big town Canberra has become, there’s a competitor for the Burmese lunch dollar. The “Golden Myanmar Cafe” has opened on Allara Street, just off City Walk.

Our Burmese Quality Assurance Team certifies that the staff are authentically Burmese (or Myanmarese, if one prefers) and the food is equally delicious albeit very different, which goes to show the culinary depth of that part of the world.

WAR nerds have been thrilling this past week to pictures of the soon-to-be “HMAS Canberra” at sea before its commissioning later this year.

However, to those who follow these things more casually, it has been a bit confusing. We keep hearing it will be a wonderful troop carrier and perfect for humanitarian missions. But, despite being labelled unthreateningly a landing helicopter dock (LHD), it does look rather a lot like an aircraft carrier, what with the ski ramp on the front for flinging planes into the air.

Truth is, an LHD is an aircraft carrier that can also drop an unwelcome mechanised battalion on to a neighbour’s beach.

The name’s a bit of a giveaway, too. A troop carrier would have a name like “HMAS Amiens” or “El Alamein”, whereas the previous two “HMAS Canberra” were both the fightiest ships in the fleets of their time. The first going down fighting Mikawa’s heavy cruisers off Savo Island in 1942.

FOOLS may indeed rush in where angels fear to tread, but I can’t help noticing that the already fraught signage in toilets around town has become increasingly complicated.

There was the ever present risk of walking into the wrong ablution, made all the worse by trendy joints expecting us to decipher their non-standard iconography.

Now what used to be a simple men’s bog is signed “Male Ambulant”.

Having never self-identified as “Male Ambulant”, it required a moment of reflection under extreme pressure, before realising that it was probably safe to run into.

CHIEF Minister Katy Gallagher has been in China showing them that our ad agencies can make whizzy videos as well as anyone, and signing things agreed to long in advance.

However, it did seem like a bit of a shame the Canberra delegation didn’t get out of Shanghai where all the low hanging fruit of Western advantage was long since plucked.

Doubly so when one considers our sister city of Beijing apparently didn’t make the cut. The Chinese would probably be too polite to say anything but, personally, I get pretty miffed when I hear my English cousins have been in Sydney but didn’t bother to say “hi”.

John Griffiths is the editor of

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