Luang Prabang 2017 - Tamarind Restaurant
You can't visit Luang Prabang without trying the local cuisine - and one of the most highly rated places to do that is Tamarind Restaurant. The restaurant is located on the quieter street along Nam Khan River. The building is a traditional 2-storey house with a large verandah right next to the road. If the weather is good you can also dine on the open terrace next to the river.
Being still new to Laotian food, we had no way of judging the authenticity of the dishes. However, based on what we were served - the flavours were unique, intense, focused and delicious.
We were served this snack which looked like dried wood chips but was very addictive. They turned out to be dried bamboo chips.
We ordered a couple of Laotian Platters to share. This was probably the best way to try lots of different dishes. The top platter came with Laotian Sausages - Sai Oua, pork sausages with sticky rice that are slightly fermented and has a funky flavour, they are very tasty; Mekong Seaweed Chips; Luang Prabang Chicken Stew, and Stir-Fried Vegetables.
The bottom plated had Buffalo Jerky - these are marinated, dried and deep-fried - making a very flavourful snack; Spicy Sausages; Betel Leaf Wraps; Salad of Minced Pork, Eggplants, Bamboo and Banana Flower, and Stir-Fried Jungle Vegetables.
This dish was recommended by the waiter - stir-fried variety of wild mushrooms and wood ear fungus.
Or Padaek - aromatic pork stew - this is made with minced pork, eggs, lemongrass, garlic, chillies and galangal with a touch df local fermented fish paste (padaek) which gives it a rich umami.
The Dessert Platter came with a selection of local sweets. Some look familiar - like the Sweet Tapioca Cake, Sweet Yam Cake and Sweet Potato Fritters. Others we couldn't really recognize.
Tamarind Restaurant is your best bet if you want to try authentic Laotian Cuisine in Luang Prabang. They also run a cooking school if you want to learn to cook some of the dishes.