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Papayromania!

Tim Russell

British cuisine may have a reputation (undeserved) for blandness, but we Brits are addicted to spicy food. Indian restaurants now outnumber fish & chip shops, and whilst they may owe their original popularity to being the only places you could get a drink back in the dark days when the pubs closed at 10.30pm, they are now loved for their spicy cuisine as much as for their exploitation of loopholes in the licensing laws.

When young Lao couples move out, do they need to find work?

Thomas Wanhoff

A Lao friend recently complained about finding and keeping staff. She said, Lao people may not need to work.. Yesterday I read in the Vientiane Times that mining companies are trying their best to hire local people - however, it is still a skill problem. But as you may know from my podcast episode with Titi about career development, there is also a lack of knowledge about what working in a job means at all.

Pakse, Laos

Tim Russell

Close to the border with Vietnam and Cambodia, the area around Pakse in southern Laos is blessed with natural beauty and far more.

For most tourist visitors to Laos, Luang Prabang is the only game in town. Direct flights from various cities in Asia mean visitors can even bypass the charming capital city of Vientiane in their rush to reach what is admittedly one of the most stunning towns in the region, leaving the rest of the country still largely untouched by tourism.

Xayoh Grillhouse brings steak culture to the capital

Thomas Wanhoff

Xayoh Grillhouse started as the first grillhouse in town. Copying the concepts of american steakhouses, it offers steaks and burgers. Recently added was a superburger. But to be honest: there are better places for steaks. Althought they may try heir best, staff has not much clue about what they serve, the baked tomatoes look disgusting, and the overall presentation is poor.

B-52 in Laos - the drink and the background

Thomas Wanhoff

For all hipsters in Laos, who don't know the background of the B-52 drink. The name refers to the US B-52 Stratofortress long-range bomber. This bomber was used in the Vietnam War for the release of incendiary bombs, which likely inspired today's flaming variant of the cocktail; another hypothesis centers on B-52 combat losses

Wine tasting in Laos - a new opportunity

Thomas Wanhoff

It is not that we don't have wine in Laos. Compared to Thailand wine is actually cheap here and we have quite a good selection so far. Thanks to the french community, wine is accepted here, thanks to winemakers around the world good wine is available here as well.

Int'l agencies making effort to improve food security in Laos

Deng Shasha

VIENTIANE, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Some international organizations have initiated a program to help Laos to improve food security in the country, according to a press statement released to Xinhua on Monday.

The European Commission -- United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (EC-FAO) Food Security Program facilitated a second multi-agency collaborative meeting on Sept. 22-23 in Vientiane to develop a linked risk and vulnerability survey to improve food security in Laos.

Frozen Yoghurt arrives in Laos

Thomas Wanhoff

Finally the Frozen Yoghurt hype arrived in Laos. On June 12th YoQueen opened on Dongpalan Street, very close to the RBAC College. It is owned by Lao-Australians and provides the usual, but mouthwatering range of frozen yoghurts.

I tried the green tea with mango and almond, and yes, yummy yummy, yummy. The middle size was about 19.000 KIP, not cheap, but affordable. Most customers are Lao people, by the way.

Let's see how this business is going on, if it is successful, we may see the same development as in Vietnam, where many Frozen Joghurt shops opened up in a short time.

Baan Tonmali Cake Coffee Shop

Thomas Wanhoff

We do not have Starbucks here in Laos, and that might be good, cause it allows the local coffee shop scene to develop. A new kind of gemstone just opened a few days ago. The Name is Ban Tonmali Cake, what translates House of the Yasmin Cake, and is a small cute fancy place to have coffee and - cakes. Owner Phanumad Disattha is a filmmaker, and decided to create a place where filmmakers and photographers can meet. The filmmaking business got a boost recently, having two filmfestivals in Laos and a growing interest in locally produced movies.

Aria Mixai - a paradise for Itailan food lovers

Thomas Wanhoff

There are not so many places to go in Vientiane, when you are looking for fine dining. But Aria Mixai is for sure one. Chef Gerado and his team opened this Italian Restaurant just a year ago and already made it to the top of the culinary scene in the capital.

so what is his recipe of success? First of all it is highest quality. Gerado worked in 5-Star-Hotels before, and he wants the same level of food quality and experience in his own restaurant. While he is still getting many vegetables and ingredients from local markets, this is limited by his extraordinary taste and requirements. If something doesn't meet the standards, it will be imported. Like the excellent Buffalo Mozzarella, my favorite appetizer.

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