Organic Farm Café, Vang Vieng (Laos)

Ok, so you’ve all read how much I loved the deep fried river weed in Vientiane and Luang Prabang (twice!) right? Well when I read that there was a restaurant in Vang Vieng serving deep fried MULBERRY leaves, how could I resist???

That’s right, the Vang Vieng Organic Farm grows mulberry trees, according to their website “using strictly organic methods. These traditional methods of farming are being lost in Laos, as they have been lost in much of the world. We are training local villagers to use sustainable, natural methods to produce food and fiber for themselves and for sale. We use natural fertilizers, organic mulch, and native lizards and toads to control insect pests. When the mulberry trees are large enough, they are pruned to a good working height. The resulting trees produce clean, high quality leaves that we can use in our silk and tea production. The leaves are hand picked each morning and processed to make tea, or are fed to the silk worms to produce silk.

They also produce mulberry wine – so seriously, there was no choice but to go and investigate!!!

Our companions, Rick and Sue (the shake maniacs!) ordered what else but a mulberry shake:

Neil, of course, couldn’t resist the mulberry wine. Suspiciously looking like Ribena

And not tasting much better:

Yeah, he struggled his way through it (“blog research” I believe he called it!) but later ordered a mulberry shake – for Neil to order a non-alcoholic drink at dinner is nearly unheard of so I will leave you to draw your own conclusions from that….

For dinner, well, I didn’t want anything too spicy or weird so I “just” ordered the said mulberry leaves to start:

In a light batter, they tasted (again) like chips, only better (crisps for UK readers). Served with a honey dipping sauce, it was a refreshing start to the meal.

I then ordered some spring rolls. These, like the laap, became a sort of standard order every time we went out – someone would order them and we would compare them to other orders of them. These ones were out of this world…

And yes, there were about a gazillion of them. We shared. Obviously.

Since I wasn’t that hungry (and hadn’t been expecting ten billion spring rolls), I also ordered some pumpkin soup (you know how sometimes you just want a bowl of soup?) and bread.

This is what I got:

Yep, a gallon of soup whose colour eerily matches the Beerlao tablecloth….

And yes, a loaf of bread to feed a family – and BUTTER (rare in these parts).

Of course I did not finish all that food but it was a lovely change for one night. I love Lao food and actually still miss it (we both do – hence the pho hunt a couple of weeks ago) but this was really a stunning meal. Fresh, local ingredients and a farm that benefits the local population – who could ask for more? Highly recommended if you are ever in Vang Vieng and can tear yourselves away from tubing down the river (errr… yeah, right. Not!)

17 thoughts on “Organic Farm Café, Vang Vieng (Laos)”

  1. Chickenless – yes the shakes made up for the wine!

    Miriam – neither had I!

    Tasty Eats – They were also pretty yummy!

  2. great eats love the way you wrote crisps for us Brits theres a cool new Canadian site, foodbie the new foodbuzz for Canada I have it linked to chow and chatter page on facebook, maybe they will start a sample program for u!!!

  3. Picking up the thread of nations divided by a common language (to wit – chips and crisps), I'm reminded of the story of an Australian food group which (this must be 20+ years ago) began marketing Australian meat pies in the states. An Australian meat pie is an institution – one is a reasonable snack, some might say a meal. However, pies in the US were not savoury (at least, at the time) – they were sweet as in 'Mom's apple pie' and so the whole exercise failed on the basis of the Aussie guy failing to realise that the meaning of a word can kill you…

  4. Chow – I am Australian by birth and tend towards the British English as opposed to North American. I will look at Foodbie – thanks!

    Geoff – pies still tend to be sweet things over this side of the pond. A pity really, nothing like a meat pie!

  5. I always match my soup to the tablecloth, doesn't everyone? (As if I have tablecloths…) Those spring rolls look mighty tasty too, but I bet I could have eaten all that, esp. if I could butter the bread and dunk.

  6. I will like to try one of those leaves! And the fat spring rolls looks so delicious. I wish i could have one now. maybe 2!

  7. Looking at this, I think the Dr. Who shirt best expresses my review of the wine.

    Though I resemble that comment re non-alcoholic drinks at dinner… 😉

    I did chuckle in that this post makes the rather dire town seem quaint. No comments, Mardi, on the plethors of "happy bars" with Freinds playing nonstop? Ugh.


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