The peninsula town of Luang Prabang is sandwiched between two rivers – the mighty Mekong and the lovely Nam Khan.
Riverfront restaurants of all persuasions line both banks, all displaying their menus (complete with resident cat) for your perusal.
The eateries offer everything from westernized burgers and spaghetti Bolognese to traditional Asian fare and Fusion Lao. And although the French were here for a long time, very little of their cuisine seems to remain – except for crispy baguettes.
As newbies to Laos – and Lao food, we love to experiment, so I bet you can guess which one we went for. Yep, Fusion Lao. We’d heard about a cool little place called Tamarind that features “Mod-Lao” dishes as Lao-style tapas.
Since the temperature was hovering around 90°, James decided to try his first Beer Lao, described by the Bangkok Post as the “Dom Perignon of Asian Beers.” He gave it the big thumbs up. Terri went for the Lao-Lao Cocktail, a refreshing blend of honey, lime juice, and Lao-Lao – the potent local whisky brewed from rice. Wow – it packs a wallop!
We started with a little sampler platter featuring four different dips with sticky rice (in the cute basket) and sesame-seaweed chips. The sticky rice was totally new to us. You pinch off a little morsel (it holds together in a ball), then put the dip on it. The dips were tomato salsa, smoked eggplant, spicy coriander, and chili paste with dried buffalo. Delicious.
Our final taste sensation was Chicken-Stuffed Lemongrass, an amazingly inventive dish. A mixture of chicken and herbs is placed inside a stalk of lemongrass, then dipped in an egg batter and deep fried. Served with a ginger-peanut dipping sauce, it stole the show.
Needless to say, we came away totally sated and only $12 lighter. It was the perfect belated Valentine’s Day feast. And when the sun set we hit the Night Market for some of its famous, really cheap grub.
Terri & James
P.S. A few days ago we received an email from food blogger extraordinaire Bryan at The Wandering Gourmand. He’s publishing a “Best Of The World” series. Brian said, “I asked some of the top travel, food, craft beer, and wine bloggers in the world what their favorite restaurant, bar, brewery, or winery was, and they answered!”
We’re flattered to be included in such an elite group of bloggers and world travelers. Thanks Bryan! Be sure to check out his post for some fresh ideas on where in the world to eat.
Last updated January 5, 2020