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“Really a 3.5 !” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tum Tum Cheng - CLOSED

Tum Tum Cheng
Cuisines: Asian, Thai
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
532 reviews
286 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
“Really a 3.5 !”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2012

Arrived at the restaurant on an early Wednesday evening in November. Reservations were certainly NOT necessary....only 2 other tables were occupied.
The complimentary peanuts and lemongrass were a button pusher and we even asked for a 2nd portion. Lao fruit tea accompanied our meal. I had fried pumpkin w/vegetable and DH had fried beef w/basil and long beans. We ordered sticky rice.
The mains were good,but considering that this place is a cooking school, we were a bit disappointed. Something was missing.
There WAS music at 7 PM....but even when we left...there were just another 2 tables that were occupied.
We did not perceive our $20US cost as value.
An off night?????

  • Visited November 2011
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank morewierd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    28
    12
    12
    5
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
111 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
“Good Food But a Major Management Goof”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2012

How far does one have to go in recognizing cultural differences when travelling abroad, especially in extremely poor undeveloped countries? Are we simply to accept the craziness so we can feel politically correct? Or are we to speak up and try to help them learn from what we perceive to be their mistakes? What if our perceptions are wrong?
We had lunch here yesterday and had a fine meal, well served. We had a nice quiet indoor table; we were well screened from the street by lush folliage; the washroom was clean; the staff were very pleasant.
We shared the fried noodles with peanuts and chile, steamed vegetable salad, and hot spicy tofu salad. It was all delicious. As good as we would get back home. Better.
Now listen to this. Halfway through the meal one of the waitresses brings a little man with a toolbox back to where we are sitting. He gets my wife to move her chair so he can access the door which was positioned behind her. Then, three feet away from us, he begins to take the lock on the door apart. Out comes all his lockpicking equipment, then a hammer, then a flashlight that inadvertently shines in my face. For the rest of the meal he slams and bangs at the mechanism until he removes the old one and puts in a new one. All of this while we are eating, and right beside our table.
We laughed about it. It was so bizarre. We finished our meal and left. We'd go back - the food was good and the locksmith will probably never appear again.
So what do you think? Are we elitist for making fun of the ignorance of local staff? Or should we have said something to the supervisor and had them either stop him or move us? I still don't know.
But I wonder what management is going to think when they read this? Is this the way the sophisticated and worldly Tum Tum restaurant really wants to present itself to the world? Somehow I don't think so.
All this aside, loved the food and the ambience. And the inadvertent entertainment. Sort of.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Marathonwinner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Koeln
Level Contributor
233 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
“Excellent food, nice atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2012

Good restaurant in the old center of Luang Prabang near the Wat Xieng Thong monastery. Since the place is well known, you’d better reserve your table before.
Good kitchen, life music with dance show, the restaurant is outdoor, but covered.

Friendly and attentive service – at least as long as the restaurant is not too crowded.
The food was very good! I tried the Koy Paa, the fresh fish with herbs, lemon juice and fried rice – EXCELLENT! Also the Khai Phun (dried fried crispy sea weed with sesame and garlic) was very good. You might also try the roasted peanuts with salt and finely sliced shallots.

The friendly waiter served (without being requested) as appetizer a complimentary Lao-Lao – which was charged later on and caused some discussions… So you’d better ask him, whether it is really complimentary.

The Tum Tum Cheng also offers lessons in regional cooking.

Tip:if you want to have only a nice cup of Lao Coffee in the afternoon prior to dinner, you might enjoy the coffee and bookshop L'Etranger (corner Th. Chao Sisuphon and Th. Phommatha), in the first floor you'll find a real nice Laotian atmosphere.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Le_Travelagent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beirut, Lebanon
Level Contributor
80 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Awesome teacher, Curriculum Lacking”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2012

I should start this review with two premises that may inform the reader more of my standpoint:
1. I am a teacher (not of English or grammar, mind you!) 2. One year ago I took an outstanding cooking course in Thailand
Okay, with that said, I would like to start with the layout of the course: Arrive early (8:30 am and start with introductions (self-lead, no ice breaker activities or anything) with other students. We then were escorted off to the local Phosi day market. A guide toured us around to sample and view the key ingredients of a Lao dish. The time spent there was a splendor for every sense (and you may want to have your camera along as the lighting is lovely outside at the vegetable stands.) This was one of my favorite parts of the course.
When we returned, Linda sat with us and told us some fascinating things about Lao cooking: the essential ingredients, the cultural reasons behind some dishes, and even the differences between steam and sticky rice (and which regions prefer which.) I love to be a student, so this was a great 30 or so minutes for me. However, for the short of attention span, it may not suit you well.
Finally, we were shown a few artistic tricks to making a flower tomato and cucumber leaves. We also were given some lessons on cutting and consuming some spices commonly used in Asian dishes. This was also helpful.
The part that felt a bit disappointing to me was that when we went into the kitchen, we were not given the opportunity to cook several dishes. In fact, the one dish we did cook was done so quickly in front of us, by our instructor (sometimes with explanation sometimes without) that I am not sure I would even count that as "cooking." It is probably very likely if we all had burners and we were cooking these dishes, a few of us would fail by burning, scalding, or reversing ingredient order. However, as a teacher myself, I know that this is the only way to really LEARN. When I come home I am far less likely to try some of those dishes than I was when I went to the class in Thailand and I cooked them all. However, I would say that the recipe booklet is more comprehensive than that of my last "cooking school" so perhaps that will balance the two? It has only been 6 days that I have been back, so I guess time will tell.

In the end, when we were awarded our certificates, I felt very much like a student who slipped under the radar by learning nothing about the "main" skills of the class, but still getting credit for the course.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Renee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Cooking class by observation only”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2012

Attended the half day cooking class and was very disappointed by the lack of hands-on involvement by students. Everything was 'by observation' of the main teacher Linda (who was lovely).
In the end - an 'ok' experience, but definitely better schools available in Luang Prabang (see Tamnuk Lao especially)

    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Mick J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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