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“Almost heaven”
Review of Tamarind

Tamarind
Ranked #11 of 201 Restaurants in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $3 - $15
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Bern, Switzerland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Almost heaven”
Reviewed December 26, 2013

We stayed twice at the Tamarind restaurant. Great quality food, well trained staff and authentic Laos food. Make a reservation in advance, place is fast crowded. Our favorite place to eat in Luang Prabang!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank duschted
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
307 reviews
169 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
“Good but incredibly inconsistent”
Reviewed December 25, 2013

Tamarind has a nice concept with a good strong menu and some nice twists on Laotian favourites, but alternatively it also suffers from an almost total lack of any staff cohesion and consistency.

Despite having a large staff, there seems to be little coordination between them. Many of our plates arrived at different times so that one of our party was not served till 10 minutes afterwards. Likewise, it often took three different waiters to bring one order. The effects were pretty staggering as many of us were served cold food.

This is not to say it was all bad, as I quite enjoyed my fish cooked in banana leaves, its just that at the same time there were only a few steamed veggies on the side and they were all overcooked and cold. The soup was divine however we all agreed. Likewise, some of the salads were quite good, but we did wonder how fresh some of them were as some of the veggies appeared a bit wilted. All around though, we found the food to be nice, but getting everyone served correctly turned out to be quite annoying (and next to impossible).

On the plus side however, I have to admit they have an impressive gift shop and drinks menu. Lao Lao has never tasted so good! Aside from some coconut tamarind sauce that I needed to bring home, I also could not help but grab a bottle of their home made banana lao lao and their honey gingered lao lao. Both quite good as we had found out during dinner.

So all around, the Tamarind seems to have been heavily hyped for reasons beyond my understanding and while we agreed that we would not be returning for dinner again, we said that it might be a better option for a lazy lunch or a relaxed snack in the afternoon.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Confused_ExpatHanoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Excellent good value food”
Reviewed December 24, 2013

This was a great meal for under $20 for four courses. We had four small courses and it was just enough food for lunch. The fish wrapped in banana leaf and the pumpkin soup were superb. The location was lyrical overlooking the Nem Kan river. The flavours were very subtle and varied.
We enjoyed our lunch very much.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank NewYorkCoco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
106 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Good food and experience when it's not too busy”
Reviewed December 24, 2013

Some of the best produce and cuisine in town, but sometimes hampered by it's tour group popularity... and may explain some of the disappointed reviews.
Otherwise the chef, owners and manager are dedicated in providing an authentic Laos dining experience, providing high quality meals in a great restaurant setting by the river.
Ended up eating here at every opportunity, usually lunch, as the menu options offered a great variety of nutritious food.
Try it for an early lunch to avoid disappointment or book well ahead and be prepared for a noisy atmosphere if a tour group arrives, but the food never disappoints and that is most important.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jed K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panchkula, India
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Poor service,hyped place”
Reviewed December 23, 2013

Went for dinner after reading reviews, had got the reservation done but found place over hyped .
Small indoor sitting , outdoor make shift seating without proper heating arrangement ,
Me and my daughter are vegetarians , order took so long and what they served finally were raw veggies not even steamed or stir fried .

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Sudha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TamarindCaroline, Owner at Tamarind, responded to this review, December 26, 2013
Sorry to hear that your experience with us was not a success. It is true that Lao chefs do struggle with preparing vegetarian food, as the concept of choosing not to eat meat is so inconceivable to them! However we do get a lot of vegetarians and sometimes vegans dining with us and we do our best to offer a number of options to accommodate them.
You describe a dish with purely raw vegetables, and I have no idea which dish you might have had, as the only raw vegetables we serve are those on the side of main dishes – Lao people like to crunch into a refreshing green leaf after each mouthful. We do have a dish of mostly steamed vegetables with a strong dipping sauce, (jeow kapi, my personal favourite, but not everybody’s cup of tea), and ‘make your own miang’ which is a light snack of lettuce wraps filled with noodles, herbs, and a choice of pastes. It sounds like you may have been inadequately advised by your server, perhaps a symptom of this being by far the very busiest week of the entire year. And for this we heartily, heartily apologise.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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