Laos – L’Elephant

After our traditional meal at Tamarind, I was curious to see the French influence on Lao cuisine in action. L’Elephant was one of the best reviewed restaurants in Luang Prabang and offered separate French and Lao dinner menus. Again, our hotel concierge helped us make a reservation in the afternoon for the same night. The restaurant was also only a few blocks away.

Atmosphere: When we arrived at the restaurant, the sun was still up and we chose a table outside under an awning to enjoy the last rays of light. At this point, we had gotten used to the absence of real A/C outside of our villa. The restaurant was elegant and tropical with high ceilings and comfortable wicker armchairs. Perhaps because we were visiting during low season, the restaurant was only half full. Guests were seated spaced out and we enjoyed a peaceful dinner at a leisurely pace. This was pretty much a perfect mood for vacation.

Service: Ordering in English was simple and straight-forward. We were welcomed with amuse-bouches and our server took wonderful care of us. Empty plates were promptly cleared and dishes arrived just as we were ready for them.

Food: To start, we tried from the Lao Menu, lemongrass meatballs. They had a crispy outer shell and were juicy inside. I liked how the lemongrass flavour was fragrant without overwhelming. Our other starter was a steamed fresh water fish. While tasty, this was the least memorable dish of the night.

For our Entrees, we ordered fried frog legs from the French Menu and a buffalo steak with fries from the Lao menu. Frog legs are one of my favourite white meats, and these were perfect, juicy and plump. Fried with plenty of aromatics, the meat was well seasoned and had lots of flavour. With one delicious buffalo experience under our belt, The Hubby and I was confident in our steak order. Served with a pat of compound butter, the marinated steak was tender and seasoned simply with salt and pepper. I may have found a new favourite type of game meat.

If you’re in Luang Prabang, I would recommend dinner at L’Elephant or one of their sister restaurants for a nice sit down meal.

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