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 Post subject: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:31 pm 
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Earlier this year (in March) I lived in Luang Prabang (LPB), Laos for about four weeks, on account of career stuff. While walking up the peninsula formed by the Khan and Mekong rivers, I came upon a large sign with lots of food pictures for a restaurant that promoted itself as a completely vegetarian restaurant in a food culture that is heavily meat-based (despite being Buddhist). It was shocking. And delightful. And closed. (BOO!) So, I took a photo of the pictorial menu to decide what to get when I returned the next day. And Oasis definitely lived up to its name.

The menu cover:
Image
You've got love the grammar mistakes people when writing in something other than their native tongue. (I know my mistakes can be atrocious.) The message still gets across in their menu cover, though. However, since I was there on English teaching business, I just had to write it in a more grammatically correct way: "All foods are either vegetarian or vegan. The vegetarian meat is made from corn, soya, or other substitute." But, this attempt is pretty good, all things considered.

Yellow Noodle with Soy Protein: This was the first dish I had there, mostly because on that day I really wanted some noodles. Overall, it was okay; not fabulous, but redeemed by the fresh herbs (i.e. Thai purple basil) used to season. I did not like the crunchy soy protein on top. It was just strange. I wanted tofu as I had known it.
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Curried tofu: And tofu I had! Boy, did I ever chomp down on these giant hunks. I love tofu--I don't care what any of those "nofu" people say. Also, this sauce was somehow very good, even if it was nowhere near as thick as curry sauce usually is.
Image


Vegetarian pork: It was interesting. Fairly tasty. A little dry. Maybe needed a sauce to absorb into the "pork." There were noodles and Mung bean sprouts beneath, and crushed peanuts sprinkled on top.
Image

Little 'close up' for you:
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My absolute FAVORITE: Mock Duck in five spice sauce--I had it twice, despite the fact that I knew I should order something different each time, in order to sample as widely as possible during my limited time frame. Also, because of my five spice "duck" lust, I didn't get to try the veggie version of a local dish, laap (i.e. minced meat salad, served cold), which apparently was made out of lots of mushrooms (my favorite). But, I just couldn't stop thinking of this dish after I ate it, so...
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Have a look at the texture up close. It was astoundingly meat-like. Very impressive. I had to poke it with a fork and take some reassurance breaths before digging in. And, coupled with that sauce? Glorious! ...I miss it so. *pout*
Image


Unfortunately, the next couple of times I returned to that end of the peninsula for lunch, the shop had boarded up and chained its tables together, ostensibly closing down at the end of the high tourist season. I sadly had to continue on for a few more weeks without my veg restaurant.

But, on the bright side, there were three Indian restaurants in the city (all run by actual Indians) who had some marvelous food. I ate way too many samosas.

Anyways, my point is that even in (urban, increasingly touristy) Laos you can eat pretty well as a vegan. And, as a general rule of thumb, if you are in an Asian country and can find Chinese immigrants you can usually get some vegetarian options on their menus since they have dietary restrictions during their New Year.

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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Everything looks SO good!

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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:37 pm 
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WOW, I want to try all of that, everything looks so delicious!


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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:45 pm 
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I LOVE mock duck. That dish looks so good!

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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Aww, man if that mock duck tastes as good as it look then I can understand why you got it twice! That tofu curry looks great, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:08 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:08 pm 
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I want it all!

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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:29 am 
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wow! that looks amazing!

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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:37 am 
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I am so jealous! I spent a few days in Vientiane over the winter and hit up a nice, intriguing vegan buffet and another more, so so veg restaurant, but gosh, you hit the jackpot! I wish I had an opportunity to spend weeks in Laos.... I read about a couple of more vegan restaurants in town but I just couldn't find them in the side streets/alleys.

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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:38 pm 
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It all looks great!

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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:18 pm 
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Yum! That duck looks especially good.

Did you ever eat at the night market? There were a couple veg buffets for around 7,000 kip, if I remember correctly. I miss Luang Prabang. Trying to finagle a way to get back there soon...

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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:31 am 
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wow, looks great!


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 Post subject: Re: Oasis: Vegan Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:17 pm 
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sarahcaroline wrote:
Yum! That duck looks especially good.

Did you ever eat at the night market? There were a couple veg buffets for around 7,000 kip, if I remember correctly. I miss Luang Prabang. Trying to finagle a way to get back there soon...
I did not know there were vegan buffets. I only heard of meat buffets at the night market. Also, I was usually super tired in the evening and ate a very early dinner.

I miss LPB, too. You really should get back there soon, because construction of guesthouses and whatnot is going on all over the place--I was told they are preparing for a influx of Chinese tourists. Tourism is going to make it a very different place within a few years...

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