Green Elephant restaurant

When Cherie Aung-Khin started her manufacturing business in Yangon, Myanmar, 1993, she found out there were no proper healthy food for her to eat every day, during work hours. In Myanmar, only road side stalls, Chinese and Indian restaurants were available.

Being a health conscious person and need to avoid oily food and also avoid suffering from her very sensitive allergies from unclean food, she has to hire a cook to prepare her daily food at her office. All Myanmar people takes a lunch box from home, but, she needs a substantial meal daily to support her very long working hours. She also do not want to eat cold food, spoilt by living too long in Thailand before going back to work at Myanmar.

When she started her first retail shop in 1995, she started a small Myanmar restaurant, using the premises of a garage of the place. She decorated it in a very charming and local bamboo and thatch concept, for 30 seating. The same old cook was her chef and she introduced the local dishes, making recipe and menu to sell. Setting up the dining tables in International standard with simple bronze cutlery, with some serving dishes from Thailand and mixing with rattan and lacquerware table top items. Furniture was not a problem as she newly started her furniture and home accessories manufacturing business in Yangon and the showroom and the restaurant will carry, use and sell all her designs. Lighting material was not readily available and thus, she made paper lanterns as hanging lamps. With a very limited budget, the restaurant started and she trained a few raw hands village boys as waiters, how to serve Myanmar cuisine in International style and standard.

What should she call the restaurant? Of course, GREEN ELEPHANT as she was born on Wednesday (sign of Elephant) and in a green and lush garden atmosphere in a Myanmar style shed under thatch roof with bamboo poles.

No doubt, it was a big success as that was the only Restaurant serving home cook Myanmar food in a very healthy style, authentic and tasty. Due to the success of Yangon restaurant, she bought out an ailing restaurant in Bagan 1997 and make it into the very foremost and first class Myanmar cuisine restaurant on the beautiful banks of the Irrawaddy River. A huge NIM TREE in the center of the garden provide a wonderful natural shade to the customers to sit down and sip French wine, which never reached Bagan village before.

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In the year 2000, with her successful 2 restaurant as track records, she open the present day GREEN ELEPHANT RESTAURANT in Yangon. This is the first time, she personally involved to build an open area 2 story wooden building so that customers can enjoy the garden effect in a small, limited area. It has 300 seating with indoor and outdoor areas for all visitors to enjoy the same authentic food and ambience, which she tightly supervise and control to keep up the all around quality. The restaurant is full with foreign visitors and now a days including local Myanmar customers, all year around.

2002 March was the birth of the GREEN ELEPHANT MANDALAY. Being a second largest city in Myanmar and also a trading town, Mandalay needs a good Myanmar restaurant as travelers who visited the city has no opportunity to taste the local style cooking and its variety of fresh vegetables from surrounding areas and beans that is so easily available in Yangon area. An old colonial teak house, build in 1920 by teak traders was a perfect premises and the centrally, private location was a huge asset. In Mandalay, she again hired and trained the local staff, who as never seen the way Myanmar food was served.
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