Sunday, May 1, 2011

Luang Prabang Part 3: It was more like "Alley" Food

We hung around until dark, still on the main stretch of Sisavangvong (not out of boredom, this one road town was genuinely fascinating and charming), and this time went down another narrow alley. This one was to the left of the Ancient Luang Prabang Hotel, where a large table of various cakes and pastries were sold throughout the day. We skipped the cakes, and ventured down this path full of buzz, colours, more inelegant sweatiness, and a whole lotta good grub.

Vendors lay out trays and trays of food, like a massive street party buffet. More fly swatting with plastic bags, above dishes that look suspect, side by side with those that look irresistible. Most which are saucy are served with rice, and we observed punters carrying off mounds of vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, salads, to sit nearby on low benches. In this regard, this type of food was more Thai with zesty, sweet and sour trademarks.

What I revelled in were the barbequed meats.

I ogled piles and rows of bamboo skewers as my tummy growled for everything in sight. When it comes to meat on open flaming heat, I'm adamant that the best is chicken (and lamb, but not in Laos). I threw a quail in there for good measure.

Chicken here is very much like our Malaysian ayam kampung or literally translated, village chicken. That's free-range to you Sainsbury's or Cole's shoppers. I tore off the lean meat with my teeth, in primitive, cave woman fashion to enjoy the charred goodness. Each satisfactory bite was punctuated with a little dip into tangy chilli and fish sauce. Eating off a banana leaf made it more fragrant.

Very much like the Vietnamese Summer Rolls, these lot have a filling that's a fine mince, packed with herbs. We bagged a selection of meat and vegetable ones, fried and fresh, and washed it all down with an icy cold Beerlao, Laos' premiere national lager. Perfecto.

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