Tag Archives: backpacking laos

Famous Steamboat Street Food in Luang Prabang, Malee Restaurant Review by backpackies

We have to be honest to you that our recent trip to Laos was totally done without any help from the Lonely Planet.

To say we did the entire trip on our own, backpacking and researching without any prior Divine ‘travel guidance’ would be a lie. We did “Google” out ‘Laos’ and also ‘Things to do in Laos’ though. Hope you don’t condemn us for cheating in advance.

We were still trying to shake off our numb legs courtesy of the energy sucking 8 hour bus ride from Vang Vieng. To make matters worse, our mood was pretty sombre that day because of the leaky so called ‘dry bag’ that the girl sold us for 40,000 Kip (5 USD), assuring us that our important stuff would be safe when we go TUBING. Our camera and phone was **cked! Soaking wet, I tried to revive it by drying it in a dry environment. (But that’s another story).

When we got to Luang Prabang, this place immediately gave us a very relaxing and slow-paced feel to its whole setting. It is advisable to rent a bicycle and ride out to see what the whole town has to offer.  We did just that and rode around the side of Mekong River, where there were plenty of Guesthouses, restaurants, massage parlours and a few nice quaint coffee shops along the way.

As it was already getting dark, we decided to have some dinner.  We saw quite a number of  locals sitting by the river eating something. It looked good!.

Malee restaurant lonely planet

A local crowd eating here

Guests just sit on short plastic and wooden stools under a plastic canopy.
It’s directly next to the Mekong River. On each table, you’ll find a circular slot and in goes a charcoaled heated piping hot metal steamboat cum grill.

malee steamboat restaurant laos

Prepararing the food behind the counter

It looked like they were eating steamboat. Half of the food was in soup and the top of the silver pot was where they were BBQ’ing some meat on it.
Looked interesting enough for us to decide we would eat here.
Most importantly we felt that because it was a cold day, it would be inviting for us to have something hot. The rates and portions looked reasonable as well.

The dinner set we ordered. (Of course you can order separately, individual meat or more vegetables according to liking)

You’ll get a menu choice of Chicken, Pork or Beef along with vegetables. Use pork belly or vegetable oil to oil the grill and on which you’ll throw your meat for grilling. The lower portion doubles up as a steamboat, where you’ll add stock to cook vegetables and mushrooms.

malee steamboat luang prabang

Plates of vegetables, meat strips, egg and sticky rice

malee restaurant steamboat luang prabang

We set the meat to BBQ and the vegetables in the soup to cook

malee restaurant steamboat luang prabang
Little did we know, later after coming back from Laos, only did we notice that the restaurant we ate at “ Malee Restaurant” was recommended by the Lonely Planet.
If you love BBQ, you would love this place. You don’t actually ‘eat under the stars’, but its Al Fresco for sure. The place was clean and it was pretty airy at that time, so we didn’t have to worry about our main enemy “Mosquitoes”!!!

malee restaurant luang prabang

sitting on small stools and enjoying the local cuisine

We had our dinner at around 8 ish, which was already dark. The whole place was actually quite crowded when we left. We did the occasional foreign tourist eating here, but majority of the crowd was local.

The BBQ cost 35000 Kips per person (2010).

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