L’éléphant, Luang Prabang (Laos)

Whilst in Luang Prabang, Laos, we decided to go for a “big splurge” dinner at the renowned L’éléphant restaurant.

Frommers’ restaurant review says:

This stylish bistro is where it’s at for fine dining in Luang Prabang. Run by French expats, it has a laid-back, retro-chic atmosphere inside a high-ceilinged colonial. There are daily and weekly specials, and just about everything is good, especially the imported steaks. Tasty cheeses and wines are also imported, though local stock is used whenever possible. Boar and venison specials are popular, for example. The wine list could hold its own in a much larger city, and it’s unlikely that you’ll stump the barman. Daily set menus explore the best of what’s available in the kitchen. A range of tasty dishes, from coq au vin to grilled buffalo to a vegetarian savory baked eggplant, covers all the bases. L’Elephant is very expensive for Laos, but more than worth it. Be sure to make a reservation — it’s quite often fully booked.

Whilst the French menu looked tempting, Neil and I ordered mainly from the Lao menu.

Tom Hom Prak I Leud
Beef Broth with Betel Leaves

A tasting plate consisting of:

Oua Si Kry
Lemongrass stuffed with Pork

Sai Oua Moo
Pork Sausages, a Luang Prabang Speciality

Nam Tadieu
Rice Salad Fried in Coconut with Pork Salad

Kranab Pa
River Fish ″en paillotte″ Stuffed with Pork and Grilled Herbs and Grilled in a Banana Leaf

Ping Moo Saille Si Kry
Grilled Pork Fillet Marinaded in Lemongrass

Kai Phen
River weed from Luang Prabang dreid with Sesame Seeds

Kroua Prak lot meet
Sauté of Luang Prabang Vegetables and Mushrooms

All served with the ubiquitous sticky rice:

On the side, we ordered:

Laap kai
Chicken tartare cooked with fines herbs and salad


Coconut chicken salad.

For dessert, we had to go French:

Crème brûlée.

This was a true culinary highlight in Laos for us. Not only was the location (old colonial building) perfect and atmospheric, the food was exquisite. Delicate Lao flavours served with French flair. Our meal, complete with a few beers (tempting as the wine list was, it was simply too hot to drink wine…) was $42CAD inclusive. Had we been there longer, we would have definitely gone back for the French menu. Next time maybe… (sigh!)

L’Eléphant Restaurant
Luang Prabang – Lao P.D.R
Tel: 856 71 252 482
Fax.856 71 252 492

Tel.856 71 252 482 -Fax.856 71 252 492

Tel.856 71 252 482 -Fax.856 71 252 492l.856 71 252 482 -Fax.856 71 252 492

21 Responses to L’éléphant, Luang Prabang (Laos)

  1. Simply Life September 23, 2009 at 12:24 #

    What a fun experience! Looks like a great meal!

  2. penny aka jeroxie September 23, 2009 at 12:29 #

    looks so good. and in Laos! And the creme brulee looks so delicious as well. Laos is one of our next destinations planned. I cannot wait 🙂

  3. Neil C. Phillips September 23, 2009 at 12:43 #

    It was delightful. I distinctly remember suffering "menu envy": there were far too many dishes I wanted to order.

  4. Divina Pe September 23, 2009 at 12:43 #

    That'a really great food pilgrimage. The brulee caught my attention. Hope to visit Laso one day.

  5. eatlivetravelwrite September 23, 2009 at 13:00 #

    Simply Life – yes it was rather exotic in the midst of an already exotic trip!

    Penny – it was a GOOD brûlée. If you go to Laos, let me know and I can give you some great tips.

    Neil – yes, I remember the menu envy too!

    Divina – For a country not known for its food, we ate very well.

  6. Jessie September 23, 2009 at 13:08 #

    oh that creme brule looks delicious, all of those dishes look really good

  7. Conor @ HoldtheBeef September 23, 2009 at 13:38 #

    I'm sure this will show my ignorance, but I'm a little puzzled by the "chicken tartare cooked with fines herbs and salad"… don't the words "tartare" and "cooked" kind of cancel each other out?

    Anyway, who cares, bring on the crème brûlée 😀

  8. eatlivetravelwrite September 23, 2009 at 14:02 #

    Jessie – it was scrumptious!

    Conor – Laap can be raw (the fish one) but the chicken one was definitely cooked. I think it got lost in translation somehow – it's basically cooked ground chicken…(so it CAN look like tartare)

  9. The Chickenless Chick September 23, 2009 at 16:04 #

    If I go there, will they let me go swimming in that creme brulee??

  10. The Duo Dishes September 23, 2009 at 16:45 #

    You're so lucky to travel as much as you do. The crème brulée is oh so necessary right now!

  11. 5 Star Foodie September 23, 2009 at 18:31 #

    Sounds like a fun menu, very interesting specialties to try! I couldn't resist the crème brulée either!

  12. eatlivetravelwrite September 23, 2009 at 18:42 #

    Chickenless – Ha!

    Duo – That is a perk of being a teacher though right now, two weeks into term, those holidays seem so far away!!! And crème brûlée is ALWAYS necessary!

    5 Star – we ALWAYS order crème brûlée if it's on the menu!

  13. K a b l o o e y September 23, 2009 at 18:44 #

    The combo platter and chicken salads are what look most tempting to me. And I confess I usually want a western dessert after an eastern meal, so thumbs up for your choices. Man, the chinese food delivery we just got is looking kind of insipid right now.

  14. eatlivetravelwrite September 23, 2009 at 19:05 #

    Kablooey – well the Asian food on offer here all looks kinda insipid in comparison! It's nice to be able to relive our trip through my pictures, I have to say!

  15. Diana Bauman September 24, 2009 at 01:06 #

    Beautiful meal! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  16. eatlivetravelwrite September 24, 2009 at 01:16 #

    Thank you Diana!

  17. high low September 24, 2009 at 03:43 #

    What an interesting fusion! Looks delicious and affordable!

  18. cubicle September 24, 2009 at 04:18 #

    Yummy. All of that is making me hungry.

  19. eatlivetravelwrite September 24, 2009 at 10:51 #

    High/Low – thanks (and yes to both!)

    Cubicle – Me too!

  20. Amber September 29, 2009 at 23:04 #

    Wow! Sounds amazing!

  21. eatlivetravelwrite September 30, 2009 at 00:24 #

    Amber – it was!

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