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“Great pizza, nice staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Forest Retreat's Bamboo Lounge

Forest Retreat's Bamboo Lounge
The Green Building, Main Street | Main Street Louang Namtha, Luang Namtha LNT, Laos
+856 2055 680 031
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Ranked #2 of 17 Restaurants in Luang Namtha
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $7
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza, Coffee Shop, Healthy
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night
Description: We serve delicious western food that you're craving from home with a combination of fresh local ingredients and imported specials such as real cheese, bacon, and other food you cannot buy in Laos. We have woodfired pizzas, Italian pastas and risottos and much more. Our staff are local undeducated ethnic minority people who come to work with us to learn English and how to work in the tourism industry.
Prague, Czech Republic
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Great pizza, nice staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

This is probably almost the best place where to eat in Luang Namtha {except the Zuela restaurant...:]] ]. The staff is really nice and they are speaking english, they are mostly not asians. We ordered only pizza here, the first was great but the second wasn't finished. But It was not problem, they tried to finish it but then it was little bit burned....but o.k. This is not the cheapest choice where to eat but if you are lacking for european food you should definitely go here.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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89 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    52
    26
    7
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Lots of potential but food hit and miss”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013 via mobile

We went here 3 times while we were in Luang namtha. The owners are really friendly and the atmosphere of the place is great to meet fellow travelers. The food unfortunately can be hit and miss... Our first meal there, I had a sandwich that was pretty good but my husband's pasta was overcooked but very well seasoned. The breakfast the next day was really great however when we came back for pizza, we were very disappointed. My pizza took 30 minutes to arrive and when it did, a chunk was missing suggesting it had been burnt and then cut off. However, the dough was not fully cooked throughout the rest of the pizza.
My husband got told 10 mins later that there was a mishap with his pizza and it would be another 15 minute wait... We decided to cancel that order then.

The Western staff there are friendly and the concept of training the Laos women is obviously a very good cause - it's a shame the implementation is not 100 % there. We would have told the owners our complaint but they weren't in when we had the pizzas and the other staff didn't seem that bothered.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“An absolute must for long-term backpackers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

I had been on the road in Asia for 4 months when I visited Luang Namtha and although I had come across some fairly decent Western food along the way, it was always more of an imitation that the genuine article. Not at Forest Retreat! The 'big breakfasts' are an ideal start to the day if, like me, you don't feel up to noodle soup before noon and the pastas and pizzas are better than what you'll find in Italian restaurants in the UK. It is also the best drinking spot in town with a great vibe, colder than cold beers so you don't have to water them down with ice, and a full complement of spirits and cocktails.

If you're starting to miss the comforts of home after a long trip then you will undoubtedly end up here. If not, it's still worth a visit, you won't find another place like it!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Luang Namtha Would Not Be The Same Without This Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

Prior to my trip to Southeast Asia I was working in the service industry myself. In general, South East Asia does not hold service standards as highly as we do in Canada and it is difficult to find an establishment with genuine care for the food and service of their customers. That is part of what makes this place so refreshing.

The owners and staff at Forrest Retreat really worked not only to make our experience top at the restaurant but also in Luang Namtha and also all of Laos. They were friendly and beyond helpful with all of our questions. The owners are from New Zealand and have lived in Laos for over 2 years, we found their knowlendge very valuable.The genuine smiles of the staff go a long way. There are a few westerners working there who the owners have highered to teach there Laos staff english, how to cook western food, and western service styles. They really do their part for the comunity, highering mostly young female Lao staff who wouldn't normally otherwise have much work opportunity in this society.

Although I really enjoy Lao food, breakfast is a meal that I can't bring myself to eat rice or noodles for. I need a good coffee in the morning and maybe some eggs or some fruit. Had breakfast here a total of 3 times and enjoyed every dish! The green eggs and ham was for sure a favorite with scrambled eggs and their home-made pesto mixed in. Good coffee is difficult to come by in Laos, especially in smaller towns like this, most of it is nescafe instant mix. Here they have real esspresso, which I most certainly appreciated.

The pizza here is phanominal, with homemade italian crust and even a gluten free option for those who need/prefer. They always have a special going too, we tried the pork belly with apple and cheese, fantastic. The menu offers many vegetarian and vegan options and a range of tasty cocktails, Vodka Sour being my fav. They also have infused Lao Lao whiskey flavours for shooting!

All in all the items here are difficult to come by in Laos and they go out of their way to get them from great distance. When you're craving tasty favorites it hits the spot, and customer service is there 100%. I will definitely be back next trip to Laos!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Vancouver
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Disappointing food for the price”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

For an appetizer we ordered bread with hummus and pesto. The pesto was excellent but skip the hummus. We ordered a pizza and risotto for a main. The pizza dough felt not completely cooked and the toppings on the bland side so we ordered some pesto to smear on top to make it more palatable. The risotto was average. The chocolate shake I ordered was closer to chocolate milk (not thick like I'd expect a shake to be).

If the prices weren't so high we would have had lower expectations. The value just wasn't there to justify returning. After several weeks in SE Asia it was nice to speak with some native English speaking servers. Not sure whether that is always the case but if that's something you're craving this might be a good spot for you.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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