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Frommer's ReviewA renovated colonial building like seemingly every other restaurant in the temple district, what caught my eye walking past Tamnak Lao Restaurant were the conspicuous DAILY COOKING SCHOOL signs. If a restaurant offers cooking classes then the food should be good enough that I would want to learn how to prepare this food at home. As it turns out, yes, I would definitely like to cook this food at home. For the best variety, try one of the Tamnak Lao’s four set menus. I sampled two offering a total of 10 dishes and the chef batted a solid .900. Notable were the pork casserole in coconut milk, larp pha (spicy fish salad) and pork stuffed crispy bamboo shoots.
Daily cooking classes cost $US30. If they can teach you to cook half as well as they do, it will be money well spent.
A tourist favourite for 10 years and counting, Tamnak Lao Restaurant is one of the best restaurants on the main tourist strip to sample authentic Lao cuisine. Serving a full range of Lao dishes (plus the obligatory pasta and burgers), they are quite popular with tour groups and can get very busy at meal times, so be sure to pack your patience. Recommended are the pork-stuffed bamboo shoots, steamed fish with lime and lemongrass and eggplant dip served with a fresh baguette. Many diners enjoy the tried-and-true Lao recipes so much they come back for Tamnak Lao's cooking class.
Tamnak Lao / 3 Elephant is right on the main street of LP. It's housed in a really
nice colonial house with traditional furnishings and a patio to boot. In
other, really oozing with ambiance. They have a good Lao menu, with
most dished at the $5 mark. They have 2 set meals, one at $8 and another
at $10. I had the $8 one and it came with a veg/pork soup, chicken/pork
fitters, a curry, sticky rice and a coconut/banana/sticky rice fritter
dessert, and tea/coffee. Quite delicious really! Highly recommended.
For a truly memorable Lao meal, you can do a daytime or evening cookery school. Visit the local food market to buy the ingredients you need, watch the experts to see how it is done and then wok away! I did the daytime class where we prepared four dishes - two for lunch and two for dinner. This cost $30 with Tamnak Lao on Sakkarin Road. (Simonseeks: everything from Laos Travel Guides to expert-rated Madrid Hotels.)