Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10 Epicurean Moments in Lovely Laos

1. Numero Uno
Savour the last vertiges of colonial French influence
in a comforting loaf of French baguette
ubiquitously available
in most cafes and roadside stalls.

2. Numero Dos
Tuck into exquisite French cuisine,
fine-dining style,
at a ridiculous fraction of what you would pay
back home.
Lion's choice: Láddress Timnay
Food by a Laotian boy turned chef who cut this teeth working at
renowned France restaurants before returning triumphantly home.

 3. Numero Tres
Even though Robusta bean growing culture is more entrenched
in Asia, you can get a pretty decent cup of Arabica in 
quaint and rustic coffee joints. (above: The Little House in Vientiene)
Plus, visit a Saffron Coffee joint in Luang Prabang for a glimpse of
how authentic fair-trade coffee is helping the livelihood of farmers
who are making the switch from opium cash-crops.
 4. Numero Cuatro
A staple of the Lao people. Roll the sticky rice into
a ball with your fingers and eat it with your
accompanying dishes.
 5. Numero Cinco
Ok what exactly is Lao cusine? Is it a variation of the popular Vietnamese
or even Thai cuisine? Yes and No. Had a funky plate of their popular
papaya salad but it was drenched in pungent fish sauce unlike the sweet Thai
version. Had also the best spring rolls ever at a roadside stall in Chinatown,
Vientiene, that rivaled even the Viet variety.
Let's just say that be prepared to tuck into lotsa greens (healthy!) and
stews and dishes flavoured with refreshing herbs like mint, dill,
galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime, etc

 6. Numero Seis
Rent a bicycle and cycle to the organic Mulberry Farm
in Vang Vieng. Order a cool glass of mulberry wine or
iced mulberry tea and tuck into a crispy and addictive
plate of mulberry tempura leaves. Cuchi had two
plates to herself! Great Greedy Guts!
 7. Numero Siete
Cute Cute and Cuchi swore that they had
the best pastries and brunch here, better than even what you get
back home in the Lion City. Ok, once you get past the snob appeal of
 Le Cafe Ban Vat Sene, with their snooty service,
colonial wicker chairs and Raffles-like ambience,
the pastries are to-die-for! Cuchi had the best lemon tart and
ham-and-cheese croissant with bechamel sauce. Another
recommended atmospheric cafe in Luang Prabang
is Le Banneton selling home-made ice-creams in flavours
like roselle, pineapple, apricot peach and also gourmet breads.
8. Numero Ocho
Lao equivalent of home-made Nori Seaweed.
Freshly fried and harvested from the Mekong River
in Luang Prabang. Crispy and yummy.
 9. Numero Nueve
Silkworm poo tea at Ock Pop Tok.
Earthy and surprisingly pleasant.
Silkworm feeds on mulberry leaves,
passes them out, thereafter, their poo is collected and dried
for this experience. Purported health benefits remain

 10. Numero Diez

Hey is that pork belly? Nope. Aw Lam is a hearty
stew chockful of fresh greens and some meat
of your choice and flavoured with wood chips
infused with spices. Yes, be careful not to
swallow that!

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