Laotian restaurateurs Phonepraseuth and Chanhmaly Pathammavong, on a private visit to the U.S., talk to VOA about their lives and business in Laos, specifically their restaurant, Tamnak Lao, in the capital city.
Mr. Phonpraseuth says, “Tamnak Lao is an authentic Lao restaurant that caters mainly to visitors to our country. We specialize in Luang Prabang food (northern Lao food). We want those who visit Laos to get to taste a true Lao food, beside enjoying their stay in Laos. Tamnak Lao is not only known for its unique taste, hospitality and atmosphere, but also for its organic meats and vegetables that are provided on a daily basis.”
Mrs. Chanmaly, Phonepraseuth’s wife and co-owner of Tamnak Lao, is another key person in making Tamnak Lao a truly Lao restaurant. Her idea has been essentially to make Tamnak Lao into a home with a special touch of harmonious Lao hospitality by serving the best authentic Lao food in traditional Lao decors. “I am from Luang Prabang and that’s the reason why we serve mainly Luang Prabang dishes,” she told VOA, adding that Luan Prabang food is unique, “It is not too hot like many foods from different parts of Laos, which makes it easier for foreigners to enjoy and savor the true meaning of being in a Lao home.”
Mrs. Chanhmaly said one of the most popular dishes at her Tamnak Lao is “larb.” Larb is not only known for its delicious, and unique flavor, but also for its meaning. In the Lao language, larb means fortune and prosperity. Therefore, it is served at every special event or party such as birthday, wedding, house warming etc… She added, “We always serve “larb” as a main dish. Laotians believe that eating “larb” will bring them prosperity and good luck in whatever they do.
Tamnak Lao serves this special Lao dish in a variety of meats -chicken, pork, fish and beef, as requested by guests.
Mr. and Mrs. Pathammavong invite every one to visit Laos, especially overseas Laotians who have left Laos for many decades to return to visit and stop by “Tamnak Lao” to really enjoy Lao food and also support Lao business.
They traveled to the U.S. to celebrate the academic achievement of their friend, Mrs Kingfa Phimavong, who has just received an MBA degree.
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