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“Don't Miss This!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tamarind Cooking Courses

Tamarind Cooking Courses
One Block from Main St., Luang Prabang, Laos
856 21 262530
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Owner description: Tamarind Restaurant in Luang Prabang offers day and evening cooking classes in open air pavilions overlooking lily ponds just outside of town. Participants in day classes are taken there after a visit to the fascinating main market, where they are introduced to the unusual and intriguing ingredients that are the basis of Lao cuisine. From there it is off to Tamarind Gardens to cook Lao dishes in the authentic Lao style. Evening classes are shorter, and head directly at the cooking school. Individual work stations allow you to follow the instructions of an entertaining and informative Lao teacher, whilst a bevy of staff clean up after you. The sessions end with a sumptuous meal, where you eat the fruits of your labours! Transport to and from Tamarind Restaurant and recipe book all included. Vegetarians welcome.
Perth
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Don't Miss This!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

This is one of the best things you could do in Luang Prabang. My husband, my teddy bear (!) and I attended the cooking class which started with a morning visit to the markets. We were then taken to an open air cooking school which was located in gorgeous green - green - green surroundings overlooking a lily pond. We learnt so much from a very entertaining chef, and had a brilliant time. The food we cooked was so tasty, and I have cooked a couple of the dishes since our return home.

Make sure you book ahead, you don't want to miss out!

Visited November 2012
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Devizes, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
“Something Delightful for Everyone”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

The cooking course was more enjoyable than I expected. I loved it. It seemed to me really pitched right in every way, by which I mean that Caroline and Joy, the founder and her partner, who is the chef supremo of the Tamarind restaurant, have chosen excellent dishes for people to learn, and that both really experienced cooks like me and teenagers just tagging along with keen parents can all get a lot out of the course.

The youngish man who took us to the market and later ran the course, Chai, has an excellent manner: humourous but not too jocular; friendly and kind, but professional. And he is obviously a highly skilled, knowledgeable cook. He's a great representative for the business, which is a cracking good restaurant, surely the best of its kind. The tour of the market was perfectly timed and very informative; and I loved it that Chai suggested to people that if they saw something that they wanted to know about but couldn't ask about at the time that they should take a picture of the thing and ask him later, which several of us did. He was Spot On for identifying things and telling us about the uses of these various, often unfamiliar ingredients.

As you cook these various dishes (all described on the website), you build up not just some familiarity with things but a great lot of food for an amazing, convivial lunch at the end of it all, which you eat in the lovely surroundings of the cooking school, by lily ponds in an open-sided wooden pavilion. The whole experience was thoroughly a pleasure, from the welcoming glass of lemongrass tea, to the farewell ride home with new friends. It all worked like clockwork, and yet never felt mechanical. Absolutely super.

Perhaps it is worth adding as a little 'p.s.' that vegetarians can be well accommodated on the course. I worked next to a nice German woman in her thirties who ate neither meat nor fish; but she, too, had a fine time with the tofu and other ingredients that Chai & Co. readily supplied.

Let me also add that it was exceptionally nice of Joy and Chai to allow my wife to tag along for the fascinating market tour for not much more than the tuk-tuk fare she would have paid had she gone to the market on her own. This is not something that can be counted on in future, I am sure, but they had room for her on the day I took the course. Very grateful for that.

Visited January 2013
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Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
“Must Do”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

I loved this whole day class.
Im a 'healthy' food consultant and spend my days writing and trialling recipes.
The food was amazing and will be using many of the ideas in my recipes, minus the tripe and water buffalo bile!

Visited January 2013
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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“fun for all”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

We did the afternoon/half-day course and LOVED it! You're whisked away from the Tamarind restaurant in a tuktuk (at no extra fee) to the site of the class well out of Luang Prabang. Our instructor (Chai) spoke great English and was patient with anyone who needed extra help. Most of the students in our class were in their 30s or 40s, but there was also a family of 4 with young teenagers who seemed to enjoy the class as well.

In the end you get to eat everything you made, plus a few extra side dishes. We were STUFFED. They also send you home with a printed paperback cookbook showing all the dishes you make plus a few extras. This was definitely a highlight of our 3+ months of travel in SE Asia!

Visited January 2013
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Fun experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Even if you're not a foodie, this cooking experience is a lot of fun. We firstly went to the local markets to see the different herbs and condiments used in Lao cooking. Our group had 14 people, 10 would have been better. We made 5 dishes altogether - 6 hours in total (a bit too long in the end).

Visited January 2013
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