I’ve been so busy with cooking at home these days I realised I haven’t blogged about our epic South East Asia adventure in 2 weeks. So back to it. My last post was was on Vang Vieng so our next destination was a bus ride away in Luang Prabang.
On our first night in Luang Prabang, after a quick tour (too quick) at the extensive night markets, we have a group dinner at Lao Lao Garden. Ranked #1 thing to do on the Lonely Planet for both Luang Prabang and Northen Laos, it probably doesn’t need much introduction if you have been in this area before. Lao Lao is the local whiskey and that’s probably all I need to say.
With the fairy lights and glowing embers from the BBQ, Lao Lao Garden has a lovely ambience and a great range of both Eastern and Western foods. Bring a friend or a date because there’s a whole menu of 2 for 1 cocktails. I laugh now when I read back through my notes: “The Ombeyonce is off da heezy”.
This interactive meal is cooked over charcoal on a metal dome. The top of the dome is for grilling meats and the lower moat ring is filled with soup/stock and used to cook vegetables and noodles. You start with a lump of fat on top of the dome to oil up the cooking surface. Then you start cooking your own dinner. There were 4 of us that ordered BBQ shared 1 cooker and I don’t think you would want any more than 4 at each.
The Koala and I got a mixed plate of meats which included all the usual BBQ cast including buffalo. We started with 1 large set which included a basket of noodles and vegetables and a plate of meat. But we liked the meat so much we ordered a second plate to share. Over the course of the meal, the meat juices run off the dome and into the moat below. The broth just gets better and better and like with Chinese steamboat, it’s my favourite part of the meal. For our large BBQ set, an extra plate of meat and cocktails for the two of us, it came to a measly 95,000 kip / $15 NZ / $12 US.
We also visit on our last night in Luang Prabang to try something different on their menu. I get the Luang Prabang sausage (which came with chips and vegies) and The Koala tries out the Or Lam or water buffalo stew with a local bark/wood (used as a spice). It had a strong aniseed flavour.
Lao Lao Garden Tips:
- Start small, add more later.
- After dinner, move onto Hive Bar or Utopia for drinks. Both a hop and a skip away.
Lao Lao Garden Highlights:
- Cook it yourself BBQ Dinner.
- Trying buffalo for the first time.
- 2 for 1 cocktails.
Lao Lao Garden
Th Kingkitsarat Old Town