Top Burmese Opens Burma Joy Noodle House in Northwest Portland

Burma Joy’s Jade Rice is jasmine rice marinated in fermented tea leaves—as opposed to the more expected and similarly fermented Tea Leaf Salad.

Noodles at Top Burmese (Sage Brown)

The Top Burmese family of restaurants expands once more, gaining a third location—this time not very far from Top Burmese on Northwest 21st.

Burma Joy Noodle House is now in a soft open on Northwest 23rd at Pettygrove—taking over the space left vacant by a Picnic House satellite restaurant that was simply called Picnic. Picnic closed during the pandemic and did not reopen.

Though Burma Joy set down roots close to its sister restaurant, the business’ co-owner Kalvin Myint stressed, in an email he sent to announce the soft opening, that they were different restaurants and would be serving different dishes.

For instance Burma Joy’s Jade Rice is jasmine rice marinated in fermented tea leaves—as opposed to Tea Leaf Salad, a foundational fermented tea leaf dish one can generally expect at nearly every Burmese restaurant.

True to its name, much of the initial menu is noodle dishes: There’s Kyay Oh rice noodles served as either salad or soup, garlic noodles (topped with garlic oil and fried garlic), and Punn Thay Noodles. The last is described as “the crossroad of where Burmese, Chinese and Indian cultures meet,” a sizzling union of five spice, wheat noodles, cabbage and tomatoes.

Burma Joy’s soft open menu is slight and we can doubtlessly expect more variations to come.

EAT: Burma Joy, 1305 NW 23rd Ave., 503-206-8560,, 5-9 pm Friday-Monday

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