[an error occurred while processing this directive] In Laos, restaurants catering for foreigners always take the gory ingredients out," says Yannick Upravan, "so we put them back in." While daintier palates might be deterred, most customers at the Lao-born, French-raised restaurateur's new establishment, the 3 Nagas, find the food irresistible.
Located in the ancient royal city of Luang Prabang, the 3 Nagas bills itself as the first fine-dining venue in Laos to serve unadulterated indigenous cuisine. Even if that up-country favorite, fried red ants, has yet to make it on the menu, the dishes certainly have zing. Try the or nam (a hearty buffalo casserole, in which the aged meat is stewed with pepperwood and mixed with leaves), the raw buffalo with fresh herbs and banana flowers or catfish from the Mekong River, wrapped in banana leaves and dressed with pa daek a fermented fish sauce. Three-course meals, shared Lao-style, cost around $20 a head. And if the 3 Nagas' prices lead you to overindulge, no matter. Right next door is a boutique hotel of the same name. Book a room and sleep it off. tel: (856-1) 25375