6.065 Grilled Babyback Ribs


11 (Wed) March 2015

Grilled Babyback Ribs


at Thonglor Restaurant

-Chanthabouly, Vientiane-

with MG

Mission to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic + Personal Deviation to the Kingdom of Thailand, Day 2 (see previously 6.063 Fried Sun-Dried Venison Meat).

Starting today, I’ll be in Vientiane for work until Friday evening. The purpose of the trip is meet with various ministries, including Health, Justice, Planning & Investment, Foreign Affairs, Industry & Commerce, Finance, as well as the National Assembly, to discuss strategies for strengthening their tobacco control laws.

Day Inn Hotel.
Dig those high ceilings.

Lost Opportunity 1 :  For lunch, the team walked down the street from the Ministry of Health to a small road-side diner offering simple noodle and rice plates.  It was a rare privilege to eat local food at a local establishment with the locals, just as they would on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, I neglected to get a photo of the restaurant exterior or interior.

A better shot of the condiments/seasonings would’ve been nice; options included soy sauce, fish sauce, salt–yes, they like sodium–chili sauce, chili paste, ground chili, chili vinegar, sliced chili–yes, they like heat–sliced scallion, minced garlic, chopped coriander–yes, they like aromatics.
Shrimp Fried Rice (3.5)–AWESOME; as per Lao style, noodle/rice plates typically come with a fried egg; Laotians also insist on fresh veg, such as raw cucumber, with every meal; less than $2 per plate.

Lost Opportunity 2 : Left to our own devices for dinner, MG* and I wandered around the neighborhood for awhile before settling on a random grill restaurant near the river.  Whereas the food overall was kinda crappy, my bigger regret is that I failed to order anything interesting.

This section of Vientiane, comprising a 1-km square area of the Chanthabouly district directly north of the Mekong River, has the highest concentration of white people (as customers, of course, workers all being local) that I’ve ever seen anywhere in Asia–seriously–even more than, say, Melbourne.
I’d intended on starting with a couple safe choices then moving on to more adventurous items…
…such as one of these salt-crusted river fish; although certain not to have enjoyed it–reportedly tastes muddy, like catfish–I would’ve appreciated eating something that in theory could’ve been caught a stone’s throw from where I was sitting; next time for sure.

*MG is my intern/volunteer.  First one that I recruited directly (by contrast, MK had been working in a different division when she asked to transfer to ours under my supervision (see generally 5.089 Calamares al Ajillo)).  Italian, law background.  Started Monday.  Two days later, he’s in Lao on a mission with me–had to push some buttons to make it happen.

Stir-Fried Morning Glory (3.0)–at least this was good, as it usually is (see generally 3.321 Phak Boong Fai Daeng).
Vegetable Fried Rice (1.0)–margariny aftertaste, ugh.

10 thoughts on “6.065 Grilled Babyback Ribs

  1. oh, i’ve been waiting for your DT to see some interesting posts along the road!! congrats on having your new intern/volunteer. indeed, he was lucky to have gone to Lao on a mission with you; off to a good start! nice of you.

  2. my first duty travel in 3 months!

    i was scheduled to go to Abu Dhabi for a week this month, but i got cut from the team (long story); I’d been looking forward to my first experience in the Middle East. oh well.

    i’ll be back in Fiji next month, then probably a follow-up trip to Lao in May, then LIVERPOOL UK in June!!!

  3. you couldn’t go to the tobacco meeting?! then, that would be a long story.

    Fiji, UK!!! ENVIOUS of you! loads of in-flight meals on business class are expected to be posted…for Fiji, is that for the 20th meeting for the pacific region? you may want to check out ‘pure fiji’ for gifts–it’s a sort of body care products; i bought some soaps in a duty free shop (one for 3FJD, in korea it costs like 15000 won–i’m regretting i didn’t buy more), and it was SO GOOOOD!

    the daikoku japanese restaurant, famous for teppanyaki, is worth trying!

  4. i wasn’t even thinking about the business class meals on those long-haul flights, but you’re right! i hope the trip to UK involves a carrier that i’ve never flown.

    Fiji is for a nutrition consultation.

    I have already been asked by a colleague to get some Pure Fiji products, so I can get some for you, just let me know what you want.

    THE FUNNIEST THING: as I was typing the above sentence, that very colleague (TL, consultant, who was based in DPS for a few months) just walked in. I mentioned that I was writing back to you about Pure Fiji. We started talking about food, and she suggested that I eat at daikoku.

  5. that’s funny!! then Fiji is all about Pure Fiji and daikoku for girls.

    thank you so much for your suggestion, which i wasn’t even thinking about it. if you can get some for me, that would be really grateful! (actually, my little sister was so fond of the soaps i gave her that she even thought of going to Fiji just for buying some Pure Fiji). these are what i want:
    i) 6 soaps (island bliss 2, starfruit 2, coconut 2: or any kinds of soaps);
    ii) 2 coconut sugar rub;
    iii) 1 mini body care set (maybe including 5 liquid items or so).

    i think it’s a lot; if you think i have to limit items, then just i) and ii). i will send you the money; please give me your bank account info later!

  6. ok no problem–actually, that doesn’t really sound like much–if you want more, let me know. we can meet in seoul and exchange.

  7. then, may i add some? here are updated ones:

    i) 8 soaps (island bliss 2, starfruit 2, coconut 2, white gingerlily 2: or any kinds of soaps);
    ii) 4 coconut sugar rubs (coconut 2, mango 2);
    iii) 1 mini body care set (maybe including 5 liquid items or so).

    meeting in seoul sounds good. thank you so much, KH!

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