Dis­cov­er­ing fam­ily flavours in Laos

World Travel Magazine - - Just In -

With a panoramic back­drop of lo­tus ponds and hang­ing vines, there’s no deny­ing that Manda de Laos has one of the most ro­man­tic set­tings of any restau­rant in Luang Pra­bang, but it’s the fam­ily-style cui­sine that re­ally grabs the heart. In Lao, manda means mother, and is a trib­ute to the mum of the cur­rent owner, Toune Sisouphan­thavong, and to the tra­di­tional ways of cook­ing in the coun­try that pre­date the in­creas­ingly fast-paced modern world.

The beau­ti­ful prop­erty, which has been in her fam­ily’s hands for gen­er­a­tions, makes the per­fect show­case for a menu of Lao favourites, such as the heady khou sin kwai, wok-fried buf­falo flam­béed with lao Lao rice wine, the del­i­cate fruity flavours of the yam mak pee (ba­nana blos­som with chicken and herbs), and down­right de­li­cious ping dook moo (spare ribs glazed with honey sourced from the jun­gle).

Ul­ti­mately though, ev­ery­thing comes back to mum: “While daily life has changed in Laos and around the world, here at Manda de Laos we carry on the tra­di­tions and spirit of ma­man Phiew, ded­i­cated to shar­ing how one cooked and ate in the past, when we had more time,” says Sisouphan­thavong. Manda de Laos, Luang Pra­bang, Lao; man­dade­laos.com

Clock­wise from top left, The menu at Manda de Laos fo­cuses on fam­ily-style Luang Pra­bang dishes; the Unescol­isted lo­tus pond; trop­i­cal-in­fused cock­tail; a ro­man­tic ta­ble for two

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