Manda de Laos – Fairytale Dining on a Lotus Pond
Sometimes we are lucky enough to find extraordinary settings to enjoy our meals. Manda de Laos in Luang Prabang, Laos is one of these unique venues. Tis like entering a fairytale land when you walk in and are mesmerized by the UNESCO classified Lotus Pond that the restaurant is surrounded by. The pond is replete with floating lilies, lotus flowers and lights. Coconut trees and other lush greens dot the landscape, there si even one that grows through an outer wall if Manda. This enticing setting will widen the eyes and fill them with fairy dust.. When I dined it was just two months anew and already packed.
Manda de Laos is dedicated to sharing Laos family cuisine. The inspiration stems from the owners ancestor Maman Phiew who was born in 1930 in Luang Prabang, the eldest of three children. Like all young ladies in Luang Prabang of that time, Maman Phiew learned to cook traditional Lao dishes from her mother.
When she married the owner’s great grandfather and they had 10 children including 5 girls, she passed this knowledge and her love of Lao cooking on to them. Maman Phiew’s daily life was spent looking after her family and her small business, and she was always focused on her children’s welfare and particularly their meals which required great attention. In the days before fast food and eating out, traditional dishes required a full day of preparation with nothing left to chance or guesswork.
While daily life has changed in Laos and around the world, Manda de Laos carries on the traditions and spirit of “Maman Phiew” ( Manda means ‘mother’ in Laotian) , dedicated to sharing how one cooked and ate in the past.
I dined at night by the fireplace above and wished I stayed an extra day so I could return to view it in the daytime. I adored the sublime and tropical vibe they setting imbues. Let us begin with the drinks that were beyond top notch. I experienced new flavors that tantalized my palate I had to go shake the bartender’s hand after the meal.
The Ginger was bursting with diverse flavors. As is ipped it the sweet and sour mixed with an herbaceous blend made this an instant winner. I was tempted to order it again until I tried my dining mate’s glorious Coconut concoction. The Coconut was served in a coconut and was ridiculously sweet in a good way. Chunks of pineapple added a great texture and made me so happy. After trying a sip or three of his I had to order my own after,
The pork balls had a tremendous flavor profile. Dense and crispy and didn’t even need the accompanying sauce. They are served on bamboo skewers and are quite hard to share. Unfortunately I had a picture, but my phone drowned in the Blue Lagoon.
The BBQ Pork Spare Ribs had a radiant looking multi color coating with chilli. The ribs were crispy, tasty with only a slight kick.
Manda de Laos is a truly special spot. The service is top notch, the setting mystical, the food on point, the drinks superb and the spirit of Maman Phiew lives on. Swing by this place at all costs when you are in Luang Prabang. It is so gorgeous that it should be on the must see list in tour guides.