12 (Thu) March 2015
with MG, EYK
Mission to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic + Personal Deviation to the Kingdom of Thailand, Day 3 (see previously 6.064 Grilled Babyback Ribs).
From Wednesday through Friday, I’ll be in Vientiane for work. 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.
Amphone is a Lao restaurant. Mainstream* menu. Upscale. Housed in a renovated colonial mansion, like many fancy establishments in Vientiane tend to be (see also 5.171 Lamb Ribs in Cream Sauce). Popular place where residents take first-time visitors to Lao.
*Lao cuisine, as available in this expat neighborhood of the capital city, is pretty much like mainstream Thai, except with a bit more kick (see generally 5.170 A Deep-Fried Cricket).
The larb was great. Although I hadn’t enjoyed my first experience with larb–previously, the meat+veg+spices had come jumbled together in an overly/intensely herbaceous/spicy mess–I gave it another shot here, hoping that a fancier restaurant would serve a better representation of the national dish–yes, everything this time was much more balanced in flavor, while the components came separately, including various whole-leaf veggies, allowing for mix+match wrapping of the minced pork (“moo”) according to personal preference.
Otherwise, the food was hit and miss. But a nice meal, overall.
Lost Opportunity 4 : Earlier in the day, I suggested that the team have lunch at a Korean restaurant on my dime, but we ended up at a Japanese restaurant, as the person who’d made the arrangements didn’t seem to know the difference; perhaps because the main dishes were Japanese but came with Korean sides (by analogy, if a restaurant were to serve me nachos with salsa and guacamole, I’d assume the place to be Mexican, even if it were, say, Honduran); alas, I forgot** to take a photo of the sushi/kimchi juxtaposition.
**I haven’t forgotten to take a photo of dinner in 1,892 consecutive evenings.