Looking online for a local restaurant serving Lao food to invite friends and family to before I go. Most establishments seem to offer combinations of Vietnamese-Thai-Lao-Burma. Salivating now… Here are some excerpts (+source links) from what I found:
1. Minh Minh
Mmmmm, yum – central, easy to get to, mostly good reviews, this is it! … Stay tuned for review!
2. LAOS (foodie excerpt from Radio show transcript)
I don’t think I ate ANYTHING in Laos that I didn’t enjoy. The nicest surprise was the absence of oily, wet curries, and the much bigger emphasis on fresh, light, spicy salads or meat/seafood dishes; lashings of supremely fresh herbs, a huge array of vegetables, and a good variety of meats and fish.
Laap (Larb in Thailand): Minced chicken, pork, fish with onion, chilli, mint.
Papaya Salad – Always spicy, even when you ask for the mild version! Strips of green papaya, garlic, chili, peanuts, sugar, lime juice and more chili.
Pho – From Vietnam, that tasty broth with beef or pork, meatballs, thai basil, Sprouts, chilli – awesome for breakfast.
Sticky rice – that glutinous version served with almost every meal in Laos – be it salad, stirfry or soup. The idea is to take a couple of fingers full, roll it into a ball, and dip it into your dish to eat the two together.
My best meals in Laos:
Eggplant and fish with thai basil at Vilayvak restaurant in Vientiane – mushy and tangy and wonderful.
Breakfast Pork Pho at Kungs Café in a hidden little laneway in Vientiane.
Dried, fried beef with sesame seeds and spicy salsa at Spirit House by the Mekong River.
Where you can get it here:
YIM YAM – 12 Margaret Street Moonee Ponds http://www.yimyam.com.au
A busy restaurant just off the buzzing Puckle Street, Yim Yam is an absolute gem. The highlight here is without a doubt the Yum – warm salads with bags of herbs, spices, vegies and texture. The Goy Guy Chicken Salad is basically a laap, so a good one to try, but the stand out is the signature dish – Yum Yim Yam. Available with either Prawns or Tofu, it’s a dish full of strips of carrot, lettuce, red onion, spring onion, with toasted coconut and garlic and banana blossom. Absolute bliss.
Other good Laos staples to try include the spicy Laos sausage, Laos Beef Curry; and you can get sticky rice here. Importantly, Yim Yam offers unbelievable value for money, with most mains between $13 and $18. (Note: they have a sister restaurant in Ballarat Street Yarraville).
3. Lao Food Blog
4. …National Dish of Laos – with live crabs!
Check out the complexities of preparing Laos food flavours – mmm, yum, I’d forgotten.