Sharkys, Bagan

Last night I looked online for somewhere to go out for dinner in Bagan. There was nothing apart from a recommendation to smoke shisha at a backpacker hostel, or a KTV joint 45 minutes’drive away. Thanks, internet.

We walked down the main street, and went past the umbrella factory, past a few dimly lit restaurants without much appeal, and were on the verge of turning around and relying on the minibar, when we came across Sharkys.

This is an enormous shed, easily the size of a football pitch, with a front counter made of green and yellow wine bottles and a raised stage at the back, where they had stacked Danish people eating dinner. Behind that, a private room to which we were ushered, and provided with cheese and beer.

Sharkys has two restaurants, one in Yangon and one here in Bagan. The proprietor makes everything he can’t get, and that includes artisanal cheese, gelato and fresh vegetables. Well, I suppose he grows the veg in the poly tunnels behind the restaurant, he doesn’t personally extrude kale. They do a good range of cheeses, an apparently excellent steak, a mediocre vegetable biryani and an great ice cream, served in an enormous steel grail, as though I were a medieval knight who really liked chocolate chip.

It was a little odd, though, that apart form us and one busload of Danes, there were no other customers. I’m not sure how anywhere in Bagan makes enough money to stay in business, even if labour costs are cheap, but perhaps we were the late shift and busloads of tourists had been and gone.

Rather than walk back down a sandy road in the pitch darkness, we got a taxi back, and then collapsed, exhausted from the day, in front of a terrible Jason Statham film, Mechanic: Resurrection. The plot is …. the same as the plot of any other 2nd-rate Statham film. And so to bed.

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