December 7, 2022


Life Must Change

You Haven’t Been to Luang Prabang, With out Making an attempt Chili Fish Poop Dip

That’s precisely what he informed us as we sat down subsequent to the Mekong River, able to eat a neighborhood Laos meals feast in Luang Prabang:

“With out Making an attempt Chili Fish Poop Dip, You Haven’t Been to Luang Prabang”

On this publish I’m going to share with you the main points of a restaurant that serves what was simply the perfect meal I had of native meals in Luang Prabang.

Final Rest subsequent to the Large MeKong River.

Peaceable Views and Native Meals in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is understood for being one of the vital stress-free locations on the planet – effectively that’s what I feel.

If I used to be in cost although, I’d say it must be even higher recognized for the way its so jam-packed with scrumptious issues to eat.

Xieng Thong Phonsavanh, a neighborhood restaurant on the Mekong riverside on the peninsula of Luang Prabang serves a meal which can carry an eater to a state of taste-based-sensory overload. It’s a type of eating places that may single-handedly make a visit to Laos worthwhile – simply to eat at this restaurant.

Amazing Local Food in Luang Prabang
An Paradise of Meals Hiding in Plain View

The Heat Up

The menu consists of a single laminated web page, written in Laos, English, and Chinese language. It comprises solely meat objects except for the scrumptious pressed-algae snack that’s Kai Paen.

You need to ensure to reach simply earlier than 6pm. Watch the solar set over the river as you get able to feast.

Best Beer Snack in Laos
Mekong Algae, an unbelievable crispy pre-meal warm-up

The Opener

It wasn’t 5 minutes earlier than the primary of our dishes arrived.

Kai Pen was first, one of the vital crispy crunching snacks you’ll ever have. This dish is a neighborhood specialty, and also you would possibly see it bought as “Laos River Weed” in any of the night market stalls.

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The restaurant proprietor informed us immediately – “this dish goes with beer.” And we obliged.

Time within the solar evaporates any moisture from Kai Pen, and though they could appear to be nori seaweed for sushi rolls, these items are at all times deep fried. Only for a couple of seconds every although, as they’re so paper skinny, a mixture of herbs included within the drying course of helps give the fibrous strands physique as effectively.

You would possibly get a touch of galangal or tomatoes, however all of them obtain a heavy dose of roasted sesame seeds presenting an exquisite smoky taste. They’re greatest when piping scorching, however watch your fingers in case the oil continues to be crackling!

Laos Pork Salad
This Laap Pa comes with massive chunks of fish and whole handfuls of Laos herbs

Freshly caught Mekong River Fish

Laab Pa was subsequent, one of the vital necessary dishes to any night meal in Laos, and the most effective of all Laos meals. This meat salad is spicy, bitter, filled with scrumptious bites of fish, and well-mixed with enormous quantities of native Laos herbs.

The massive quantity of mint leaves mixed with inexperienced onions, purple onions, and scorching purple chilies at all times make this dish so refreshing, but in addition a lot lighter than simply ordering a big piece of grilled fish.

Laos Local Herbs and Hot Chilies
Individually hand-wrapped clumps, make sure and check out the Snakefish-Ear Vegetable.

The Laap goes so effectively with sticky rice, but in addition comes with an enormous accompanying plate of but extra recent herbs.

You’re taking a bit bundle of herbs, seize a whole recent chili pepper, and in your different hand roll a small ball of heat sticky rice.

Dip the sticky rice into the fish salad, absorb as a lot of the Mekong fish as you possibly can, after which observe it with the herb/chili chaser combo.

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Hot and Sour Laos Fish Soup
An enormous bowl filled with recent Mekong river fish.

Chunks of Fatty Fish Stomach

Subsequent up was an enormous bowl filled with chunks of fish caught proper from the river. This boiled fish soup is solely known as Gaeng Pla, however it might embody a number of variations to the fundamental fish soup recipe – as much as no matter recent catch the chef is working with that day.

It was bitter, the broth so extremely hearty, and the chunks of fish enormous and meaty.

It was so good that it may have simply been the spotlight of the meal have been it not for the dish that adopted…

One of the best dishes I have ever had
Heavenly richness paired with a hellishly pleasant chili oil burn

Chili fish poop dip

Jaew Kee Pa.

This dish was a game-changer. Our order was already a meat-lovers choice approaching most taste perfection – however this final merchandise simply made our evening a royal flush.

I discovered myself dreaming about this dish simply 24 hours later. I couldn’t assist myself – its the type of factor that you simply write residence about, weblog about, ship out a memo to each meals lover and quote the chef himself – “Till you’ve had this dish, you haven’t arrived in Luang Prabang.”

The identify you see on the menu is “Fish Penny Sauce,” however a direct translation of this may be Fish Poop Sauce.

Don’t fear – there isn’t actually any poop in it.  At the least I don’t suppose so.

What it’s although, is a mix of fish eggs, sesame seeds, probably some sesame oil, and plenty and many dried chilies and chili oil. This mash of richness simply deserves to be the instance discovered within the dictionary of flavors when your mouth appears up ‘umami.’

I couldn’t assist however order an additional woven Kratip filled with steaming sticky rice simply to go along with this plate.

Looking down native meals in Luang Prabang, this dish can be foremost on my hit-list. It was in a daze that we left, and I’d fortunately go to Luang Prabang once more only for one other order of Jaew Kee Pa.

Nothing but meat on the menu
It isn’t a contest, however each merchandise on the menu is a winner.

And All is Good within the World

Once we have been practically completed, the chef returned to our desk, simply in time to see every considered one of us slowly hunch into an excellent meals prompted slumber.

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Ending this meal was actually like popping out of a dream.
The proprietor is so quiet and calm that in the first place he could even appear unfriendly – however that’s solely till you see how he utterly devotes his ardour. While you begin speaking with him, he’s so extremely pleasant.

It’s at all times nice to obtain suggestions immediately from the proprietor himself, and in his personal phrases – “You haven’t actually arrived [in Luang Prabang] till you’ve had this dish.”


Fish Soup (Kaeng Pa) – 40,000 LAK
Fish Meat Salad (Koy Pa) – 40,000 LAK
Fried Hen (Jim Kai) – 50,000 LAK
Chili Fish Poop Dip (Jaew Kee Pa) – 20,000 LAK
Pressed Algae (Kai Pen) – 15,000 LAK

Find out how to Get There

To go:  Stroll previous Saffron Espresso, search for the blue fish signal.  The restaurant is Xieng Tong Suwannawong, simply previous the Mekong Riverview Lodge.  The Xieng Tong park subsequent door is a superb place to stroll round and digest whereas dreaming about your most up-to-date meals success.

I hope you’re hungry to go to Laos after studying in regards to the fish feast at XiengThong Restaurant in Luang Prabang. Try one other unbelievable dish we tried from Pa Kham Tan Laap Restaurant in Vientiane.

Additionally try my Luang Prabang and Vientiane journey information.