6.066 Larb Moo


12 (Thu) March 2015

Larb Moo


at Amphone

-Chanthabouly, Vientiane-

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).

Lost Opportunity 3 : At the Ministry of Industry & Commerce…
…various enterprises had set up their wares in the lobby, for sale and for show, including loads of food products, which I should’ve photographed, but didn’t (got distracted when a known tobacco industry employee was spotted entering the building, requiring us to take measures in case he was there to infiltrate our meeting).

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.

At the Ministry of Health, I did manage to get a shot of this poster, developed by the World Food Programme and adapted to the Lao context…
…including frog, snail, cricket, ant, and grub among recommended sources of protein.

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.

Like Korean ssam (see most recently 6.048 Ssambap).

Otherwise, the food was hit and miss.  But a nice meal, overall.

Mok Pa (3.0)–fish steamed in banana leaf; a bit mushy in texture, but nicely delicate in taste; second best dish of the spread.
Stir-Fried Morning Glory (3.0)–for future reference, at any Lao/Thai/Cambodian meal in which I had some input on the ordering, assume that this dish is on the table, even if I don’t photograph it.
Herb-Crusted Duck (1.0)–dry and flavorless; the worst dish of the spread.

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.

6 thoughts on “6.066 Larb Moo

  1. Interesting to see the food guide, and how it differs from the Canada food guide. Like most guides, ours emphasized carbohydrates…or to be more specific, GRAINS (literally what that section is called). I’m not a health fanatic, but the bread, pasta, cereal-heavy diet was never a very good idea. There was also a pretty big section for dairy. Not surprisingly, the Food Guide is heavily sponsored by both the grain and dairy companies (each food guide even has the Canadian Dairy farmers of Canada logo). Recently, I believe they have revised it to have a base of fruits and vegetables instead. I quite like the Lao food guide…much healthier carb choices. Most North Americans would be surprised that corn would fit in that group. We’re used to carbs in processed form 😛

  2. interesting, it did look like korean ssam. i wonder if this separate version of the components for larb is more traditional.

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