Saturday, 6 February 2016

Discovering Street Food, Vientiane

So we're a third of the way into our 3 month trip and we've finally decided to pluck up the courage and sample some of the local street stall delicacies. 

Getting a little bit fed up of sticking to the same restaurant style dishes and paying the same restaurant style prices, we've decided to give the 'not-so-attractive-looking' food stalls a go. And what a cracking decision it was. Our first venture into this world was in Vientiane, Laos and we found ourselves sat down on little plastic (kids) chairs around an equally as plastic little table. Be warned though, the place doesn't look great and would probably get a zero in hygiene ratings had we been back in the UK, but good god the food is delicious. 

We were brought over our menu's and picked what we wanted off the short list they offered. We thought we'd be adventurous as well as playing safe, so got a few things to snack at whilst waiting for the mains to arrive. A main delicacy over here in Asia is 'sticky rice' often served with diced mango, but this time we had pork wrapped in balls of sweet sticky rice instead. Being vegetarian I couldn't try it, but it went down a treat with the rest of the group!

The next on our list to try were these strange looking square slabs of rice, which we found out to be once again, sticky rice. This time they were coated in different flavours and sprinkled with seseme seeds - we had coconut and peanut flavoured. Surprisingly, they were so so tasty! And stupidly cheap.

Shortly after sharing them around, our mains came out and we tucked in. We had a mix of steamed vegetables in an oyster sauce, BBQ pork with rice and a traditional Laos broth that comes alongside many of the dishes. 

It was so so tasty but the best thing about these food stalls and restaurants is the price, they're so so cheap - paying no more than £1 a meal! It really is crazy. But the food from these places are hands down the best we've eaten so far out here, and really do allow you to taste the culture of the country. The locals know exactly what they're doing when they make it, and seeing as they make it all night most nights they have the recipe down to a T - delivering the most delicious dishes.

Ever since plucking up the courage, we've been eating non-stop at these little food places and have saved an absolute fortune whilst happily filling our stomachs. We call going to western restaurants a 'treat' now because we're so used to this new lifestyle. So if you're thinking of visiting Asia or happen to find yourself outside one of these places on holiday, 100% sit down and try what they have to offer. You won't be disappointed!

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