Onyx Restaurant: A Focus on Meat

By Sean Havey 10 August 2013

Tucked away down a side street in Bahan Township, the Onyx Restaurant is a favorite of meat-crazed locals and expats alike. Opened nine years ago by Martin Shin, a native Korean, Onyx offers juicy steaks and a decent selection of wines that are sure to satisfy.

“Our restaurant is not very sophisticated, but people come here to eat and fill their stomachs. It makes them happy, and that makes me happy,” says Mr Shin.

With steak entrees that cost 6,000 kyat and a glass of the house red going for 3,000 kyat, a meal at the Onyx is well within the budgets of most travelers or the NGO crowd that has made up roughly half its patronage in recent years.

There is also an extensive list of vegetarian and fish dishes that can be perused for a while, but the focus is definitely on the meat at Onyx.

If you can’t find anything you like, Mr. Shin is happy to make a few off-menu suggestions, including steak smothered in blue cheese or a full tenderloin big enough to feed three or four people for just 15,000 kyat.

Of the variety of meals on offer, the steak tenderloin with Korean spices is the best bet. Cooked to perfection and topped with grilled onions with a side of lightly sautéed kale and rather stiff but tasty mashed potatoes, the substantial portion is sure to leave even the hungriest patron’s appetite satiated.

Ask for a wine list and a waiter will direct patrons to a crate of 10 to 15 international varieties of wine that they can dig through. Bottles range in price from 12,000 kyat to over 20,000 kyat.

Located at 135 Dhamazadi Road, the Onyx can be reached by taxi from downtown for no more than 3,000 kyat. It’s very close to the Savoy Hotel, so dinner at the Onyx would dovetail nicely with a drink or two at the nearby Vista Bar to soak up the night view of Shwedagon Pagoda.

This story first appeared in the August 2013 print issue of The Irrawaddy magazine.