{Luang Prabang Eats} Tamarind

Favourite meal in Luang Prabang? By a landslide, a Lao lunch at Tamarind – an unassuming looking restaurant, cooking school and purveyor of Lao ingredients run by an Australian/Lao couple. The emphasis here is on authentic Lao food prepared with the freshest local produce, minus the more Thai-centric coconut and curry dishes that are sometimes mistaken for being Lao (read more on Lao cuisine here).

We tried:

– The Lao dipping platter with khai pene in lieu of bread or chips – the dips provided a kaleidoscope of colour and Lao flavour, and included smoky eggplant, a hot chilli paste mixed with buffalo skin, a fresh tomato salsa and a coriander/garlic blend

Stuffed lemongrass (oua si khai) – lemongrass stalks slitted and stuffed with a mixture of chicken, kaffir lime and coriander, then roasted, served with obligatory sticky rice

Bamboo shoot soup (gaeng nor mai) – young bamboo shoots and a mountain of local vegetables in a rich, hearty, earthy, green soup (vitamin overload!)

– A namesake tamarind juice and a ginger/lemongrass juice – perfect antidotes to the heat and some of my all time favourite flavours

Every sip, bite and taste was amazing, with the fragrant chicken in lemongrass the overall winner. Am already regretting there wasn’t enough time to sample more of the menu or take a cooking class. Note to the travel gods: there’d better be a next time!

P.S. Total bill – in case you’re wondering – 109,000 Lao kip, just over US$13!

Tamarind, opp. Wat Nong, Luang Prabang, Laos


7 Responses

  1. Catherine May 28, 2010 / 1:58 am

    the food looks gorgeous – definitely my type of restaurant…

  2. A Lady's Life May 28, 2010 / 2:59 am

    I have never tasted stuffed lemon grass but I can smell how delicious it is from over here lol

  3. kateinlondon May 28, 2010 / 1:22 pm

    you are KILLING me – there is NO decent Vietnamese food in London. I’d give away my first child for a piece of that lemongrass.

  4. megan May 29, 2010 / 12:03 am

    Oh. My. Yum. This looks like it will totally be out of my backpacker budget, but worth a splurge…I assume that total is for two??

  5. Fly Girl June 1, 2010 / 2:22 pm

    We have a Tamarind restaurant in Chicago too and its one of my faves. Love lemongrass and tamarind juice so this looks like heaven to me!

  6. A Girl in Asia June 2, 2010 / 1:42 pm

    Megan – yes, the total is for two (actually more like two and a half – our almost two year old shared it with us). We had 3 dishes, sticky rice and two drinks, so if it’s just you it’ll be less than half the price – totally worth it!!

  7. Bigmik December 4, 2010 / 10:54 am

    We eat there about three weeks ago. I can confirm not only is it as cheap as chips, the food is fantastic and the lemongrass is the best dish

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