Eateries You Can’t Miss on Your Laos Foodie Adventure
Lao food is dominated by fresh ingredients, lots of vegetables and delicious dips, soups and barbeque dishes. From spicy and salty to sour or bitter fare, Lao cuisine has some unique tastes and textures that will tantalize your taste buds. If you take a little time to learn about its cuisine you can enjoy a real culinary adventure in Laos. Daring to experiment with dishes you’ve never tried before can go a long way to appreciating Lao cuisine, and could make your culinary journey a really rewarding experience.
Here are just a few of our favorite eateries that we recommend you try, while exploring the foods of Laos:
Pho Wat Sen – Luang Prabang
The best Lao khao soi in Luang Prabang is to be found in a simple, squat, open-fronted timber and corrugated iron shed, with a handful of wooden tables inside! The restaurant, Pho Wat Sen, is located on the main street across from Wat Sene Souk Haram temple. There’s no sign and nothing whatsoever to identify the dilapidated eatery as Luang Prabang’s best khao soi place, but trust us, it’s worth the trouble to find it. Not to be confused with the noodle soup of Chiang Mai in Thailand, Luang Prabang’s khao soi uses a clear pork stock and it is topped with a bolognese of minced fatty pork, tomatoes, chili and fermented soybean paste, which gives it a bright red hue. Traditionally a breakfast soup, khao soi can be eaten at any time of the day, but at this eatery it’s best to get there early, before it’s gone!
Doi Ka Noi – Vientiane
The first thing you’ll notice upon entering the bright and airy Doi Ka Noi are the beautiful canvas photos of Lao food on the wall. As it turns out the English food photographer, Mick Shippen, is married to the chef and restaurant owner, Noi. Doi Ka Noi therefore seems to be the perfect marriage of two complementary talents. The second thing you’ll notice about Doi Ka Noi is, of course, the delicious food! With its menu changing daily, based on local seasonal ingredients – including vegetables from their own garden – Chef Noi specializes in authentic Lao cuisine executed and prepared with expert culinary skills. If it’s on the menu when you visit, definitely try the beef cheek stew – deliciously tender morsels of meat slowly simmered with lemongrass, kaffir leaves and other local herbs. And always available, the fried spring rolls are sure to be the best you’ve had in Laos!
Paste Laos – Luang Prabang
A newcomer to the fine dining scene in Luang Prabang, Paste Laos, is a modern approach combining modern cooking techniques with traditional Lao flavors and ingredients. Fresh and innovative ideas on how to create a contemporary dish, while respecting the local flavors, is how the food at Paste could be described. This modern concept of Lao food is also reflected in the interior of the restaurant, located in the premises of the Apsara Hotel – simplistic, but not shy of celebrating something new. And let’s not forget the wine cellar… This is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion, or maybe your last night in Luang Prabang?
For more information on foodie tours in Laos, please email us at: [email protected].