Culinary Adventures, Travel
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Vientiane: Crickets, Mystery Meat and other Eats.

Our first dinner in Laos was in Vientiane at Khop Chai Deu. Our Intrepid Travel guide, Golf chose this large restuarant/bar not far from the Mekong River for our group dinner.

Local dish of steamed fish with banana leaf sounded good to me and The Koala got a butter chicken masala. Some of the others got deep fried crickets. I gave it a whirl and to be honest, it just tasted like nachos. Especially when eaten with a salsa chili type sauce. Is anyone offended by the taste of nachos and a spicy salsa? So, if you can get over any mental or visual phobias of eating deep fried crickets, the taste isn’t something to worry about.

Steamed fish with banana leaf at Khop Chai Deu

Butter chicken masala and naan  at Khop Chai Deu

Laos style laab with a bouquet of fresh herbs and an evil green chili at Khop Chai Deu

Sampling of the deep fried crickets and salsa

A big plate of crickets. A tasty bar snack.

As much as we loved eating local foods, we were really craving a standard New Zealand style flat white. We found these coffeeas at JoMa Bakery Cafe (across the road from Khop Chai Deu).

Coffee at JoMa Bakery Cafe. Our first flat white in months! 

These roast vege wraps were good too. The bill for 2 coffees and 2 wraps came to 86,000 kip / $13.70 NZ / $10.70US which is cheaper than back home, but expensive by local standards.

Roast vegie wraps at JoMa Bakery Cafe

Mystery meat skewers at Pha That Luang smelled great. We saw locals eating these so we thought we would give them a whirl.

Mystery meat. More mystery than meat

The tasted good due to the sauce they were basted with, but the meat was too chewy to be enjoyable and we couldn’t finish them.

Who knows what meat these were?

We should have gone for these fresh spring roll packs instead.

Fresh spring rolls in Vientiane, Laos. Not too far from Vietnam

Even though it was winter, Laos was pretty warm so we were happy to buy a coconut ice cream block and a red bean ice cream block from a street vendor.

Refreshing home made ice blocks

After a full day of tourist sights, we have a beer and some food at Sam Yek Pak Sack Kem Kong which is located at the end of the main strip by the Mekong River. I’m not 100% sure that is it’s name as it’s pretty heft for a bar. I can’t really imagine someone saying “Ok, let’s meet up at Sam Yek Pak Sack Kem Kong later on”.

A huge open but covered deck overlooking the river where the beers are cheap and the cocktail menu is extensive.

I ordered a seafood salad that had plenty of seafood, but was too spicy for my western palate.

Super spicy seafood salad at Sam Yek Pak Sack Kem Kong

The Koala’s sizzling steak with veges came rare and smothered with sauce.

Sizzling steak at Sam Yek Pak Sack Kem Kong

A pretty varied range of food available in Vientiane for tourist and local tastes, but little did we know, the best meal we ever had in Vientiane (and quite possibly our entire trip) was yet to come…

Click here to see the next post with photos and read about one of the best meals ever.


  1. Gordon Happney says

    Great post. Continue to keep more keen publications. Been following blog for Three days now and I should say I am starting to much like your post. I need to know how can I subscribe to your blog?

  2. Bunny Eats Design says

    Hi Gordon, thanks for dropping by. To subscribe, there is a email field and button on the right menu near the top, just under CATEGORIES. Let me know if you have any problems with it. Cheers, Bunny Eats Design.

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