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“Good food, nice environment”

L'Elephant Restaurant
Ranked #15 of 202 Restaurants in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French, European, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Families with children, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
74 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Good food, nice environment”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2011

Several review mentioned this restaurant price high, i found they have a set menu which offer good value of money (also available at dinner time). Good quality of food, hot bread, good service to refill bread and water. Highly recommend!

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Karen_Tem_Tem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,194 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Bangkok
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Feels nice without trying too hard”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2011

I haven't tried the Lao menu at this restaurant. My experience in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos is that the local foods are almost always better in cheap, relatively inexpensive local establishments. The more beautiful or fancy restaurants often have flavors that are less intense - not only less spicy (hot) but often less sweet, sour, salty, bitter, etc. Toned down flavors may be a preference of some foreigners, but not to others (including myself). I suspect the Lao menu is well prepared, but it does not interest me nearly as much as the local market on the street does for Lao food.

As for the French menu, there are many interesting items, as well as more pedestrian items. Clearly an attempt is made to have something for everyone. But really, don't order something boring and complain that it didn't produce fireworks for you. Or if you're of another mindset, don't order something exotic and complain that it was too "weird" or criticize a dish that was done correctly but you just didn't LIKE it.

For me, the most impressive dishes at this restaurant are the first courses. Escargots were done very well. Each snail rested in a tiny ceramic (or clay?) cup with the dozen cups organized on a tray. The entire apparatus baked. This allows for even cooking and for the heat to be retained. I find this retention of temperature to be the critical factor in my enjoyment of this dish.

Frogs legs done Provencal style were one of the finest examples I've had... not in Laos, but ANYWHERE. I wondered whether the local frogs have something to do with it. However, on a subsequent visit just two days later, the frogs legs were quite good, but not as spectacular as on the first visit. Obviously then, there is some variability in the cooking technique (though heat and especially timing are critical during the preparation of a sauteed dish of this sort, and therefore it can come out slightly different every time).

There are some interesting main courses like the squab (or was it quail??)... some variety of small local bird with stuffing and a sweet fruit sauce (red currant?). I observed other local diners enjoying an imported steak and frites which looked simple but quite nice.

My crème caramel felt comforting after being deprived of good sweets for some time.

The prices most certainly have increased greatly since my first visit to this restaurant a few years ago. To be fair, I noticed that prices for everything that I purchased in Laos – from food, to accommodation, to local transport has all increased, sometimes to the tune of three times the prices I paid a few years back.

I found Laos to be significantly more expensive than Thailand in every respect, and this is quite unusual as Laos was two to three times cheaper then Thailand in the past.

I believe there may be significant inflation. However, When put in context with the rest of the local economy/market, this restaurant still represents a reasonable value considering the quality of food in this remote part of the world.

I enjoyed the service (considering this is Laos where service is often indifferent or unpredictable). The waiters were thankfully non intrusive. They effectively combined French/European effectiveness with typically Asian "sweetness".

The atmosphere is a perfect balance between formal/sophisticated and casual/comfortable. The tables on the terrace are lovely in the afternoon and the lighting in the main area is soft and comfortable at night.

The restaurant manages to just feel nice without trying too hard.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank NarakMakMak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“average, nothing that special”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2011

this place is popular, but in my opinion it's best days are over. my wine was too warm, the pumpkin soup tasteless, the porc mignon average. in france this would be a very average place. french customers may like it for the sake of beeing a french place, but i found better places in Luang Prabang.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank moongreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol U.K
Level Contributor
132 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Good place to eat out but food could be better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2011

Atmosphere good. Many young eager waiters to serve you. Food average

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank ABDULGANI_ISMAIL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Really disappointing, living on it's old reputation.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2011

This is reputidly the "best" restarant in Luang Prabang. It certainly has a price tag to match that reputation. It was however extremely disappointing. The food was actually really poorly executed. I had to send my main course back because it was so overcooked. We had much better meals in some of the less hyped and much less expensive places in town. The service was good but the food really let it down. If you are looking for a special meal out then go to The Blue Lagoon which is I think owned by the same owner, is much better value for money and the food is infinitely better. Nicer surroundings and atmosphere too.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank itsbeeroclock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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