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“Interesting and informative”

Tamarind Cooking Courses
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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. 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.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Interesting and informative”
Reviewed September 20, 2012

I love cooking so always try to do a cooking class when I visit a country. This one was very well organized and I felt it was very good value for money. It started with a market tour in the central market of Luang Prabang where you see what Laos people eat every day. Some of the stuff are very unusual even for Asians. The meat section was definitely not for the faint hearted. Then we went to the cooking school by the river away from the town. the place was rustic but well built. Simple but has all the facilities required. Chef Chai was very experienced and humourous so it was never boring. It's the first time for me ( and for everyone in the class i believe) cooking on charcoal fire, but it's how Laotians cook as gas is still uncommon. All the dishes were explained clearly and for dishes that require more ingredients, the ingredients are listed on a poster which was helpful when you need to add more than 10 herbs in 1 dish! The highlight was probably chicken stuffed in lemongrass. I had wondered how it's done before going and it turned out to be quite easy if you are good with knife. The vegetable dip keeps you dipping sticky rice in it. you just can't stop! I would recommend anyone interested in food to do this course!

Visited September 2012
2 Thank Patti H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Osaka, Japan
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great way to spend the day”
Reviewed September 15, 2012

I've been to cooking classes all over SE Asia, and this is one of the best. After an informative trip to the local market, we headed up into the hills to a little retreat Tamarind uses for their cooking classes.

Well paced instruction featuring numerous Lao courses. It's fun, informative and, if you pay attention, your dishes will be excellent!

Visited March 2012
Thank Tony Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Authentic, Traditional and Enjoyable!”
Reviewed September 14, 2012

The best thing about this course is that it stays true to the local cuisine. But this isn't the only treat...you get a trip to the local markets where you will discover ingredients that you did not know existed before traveling to a well-appointed spot by the lake to enjoy your day of cooking. Your taste-buds will thank you. Definitely worth doing

Visited September 2012
Thank Kirby D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“A Must Do in Luang Prabang!!”
Reviewed August 16, 2012

There are many courses in town, but we opted for Tamarind as it was highly recommended on TripAdvisor. We were glad we did.

Our guide spoke excellent English and kept a fast pace on the afternoon. We were in a large group of 10 and were worried it would be too slow. He was also quite humourous which made teh afternoon that much more fun. The market tour showed off all the best veggies, meats and snacks LP has to offer. Our guide got us a great deal on a carrot shredder!

We drove out of town for our cooking course which was only 2-3km away by tuk tuk. Upon arriving we had a welcome drink and a huge table of fresh ingredients at our disposal. We made 5 dishes in total, and all were done with visual and written instructions. He demonstrated everything and made sure to help us when we were trying ourselves. We made Buffalo Laap, Fish Mok (my fav), Coconut Rice, Lemongrass Stuffed Chicken and Eggplant Dip. All we very very tasty. We had an excellent lunch. They give you a recipe book at the end so you can try it at home. It also includes things you can substitute for (i.e. incase you can't find Banana Flower in your country) We were back by 3:00pm at Tamarind restaurant.

I would recommend this to everyone! Families, couples, friends, even solo travellers! At $25-30 USD, its well worth it. Ask yourself how much you would spend on lunch in town, and would you do a cooking course for $15-20 more? When it's Tamarind, the answer should be YES!

Visited August 2012
2 Thank jmagee1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“A superb day!”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Tamarind Restaurant provides a superb one-day Laos cooking course in Luang Prabang, and is worth every single penny!

Our chef - Chai - spoke excellent English and mixed in plenty of jokes into his informative and perfectly-paced instructions.

First, you are driven from the restaurant to the local market (just after the early-morning "rush hour" so there is room for you to walk around freely). That was quite an eye-opener and a great way to see the local ingredients that you are then to cook with.

Next, you are driven to a bespoke lakeside cooking venue where tables are set for your first attempts at Laos cooking. The 4/5 dishes chosen were simply delicious, all showcasing the best of Laos cuisine and utterly unique from the usual Thai favourites (much more lime and lemongrass, less chilli and coconut milk). Don't worry if you make a mess though (the stuffed lemongrass must take years to perfect) as you'll be given a Blue Peter "pre-prepared one" - so you won't go hungry!

You then sit down together and devour your efforts - with more than enough to go around. If there's time you then have chance to make a Laos pudding (purple sticky rice with fruit) before being driven back to the restaurant by mid-afternoon.

At the end you are given a fabulous recipe booklet, complete with hints and tips which are useful for cooking any cuisine.

Without doubt this is a "must-do" for the foodies out there!

Visited August 2012
Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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