We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Quite Outstanding in Luang Prabang”
Review of The Apsara

The Apsara
Ranked #22 of 212 Restaurants in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Contemporary
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 25 June 2014

During my recent five-night stay in Luang Prabang, I made the choice of dining at the Apsara four of those five nights! It is that good! Yes, I know: Doing so greatly reduces my ability to draw and illustrate comparisons with restaurants there. But doing that is not my intention. Rather, I just wish to commend this one, really quite fine dining room.

Firstly, the room is tastefully decorated and quite inviting through the wide-opened folding doors of the front. Terrace seating is available, with the main room only just a few steps beyond. The dining area flows easily from ‘outside to inside’.

The serving staff is considerably well-trained and carries-out their functions with care, friendliness, and professionalism. Each of the servers speaks English (and one French, I understand), so you will have no difficulty with any communication about the menu. I found them to be cordial and very well-informed on the menu and able to discuss the dishes with you. As I said --- well trained and professional!

The Apsara’s menu is concise, with carefully chosen “small plates” and “large plates”. Even though the choices are concise, the menu offers an enticing range of options. During my four evenings with them, I repeated only with one of the soups and again (several times!) with their wonderful ice cream.

On the first visit, I chose two ‘small plates’: house smoked fish / carrot, lemongrass and ginger soup. The smoked fish is quite an aggressive taste, but yet most delectable. The betel leaf, Lao herbs, and chili relish really activate the senses. The soup is, contrastingly, smooth and consoling with rich flavor. The honey and ginger ice cream brought the meal toward a concluding aggressive taste. A very nice rounding of flavors.

In the second evening, I enjoyed the buffalo cheeks with chili caramel and cabbage salad. As other reviewers have noted, the buffalo cheeks are really quite, quite good. And the cabbage salad provides a nice sharp flavored aside to the tender, smooth, almost velvet of the buffalo and its caramel sauce. This evening I discovered the remarkable flavor of their coconut ice cream, which quickly became my favorite.

For the third evening, I selected Lao tomato salad with betel leaf and fresh herbs. It was quite satisfying and recommended. For the “large plate” I chose fettuccine with home-made pork sausage. Normally, I am not that much of a ‘meat-eater’, usually choosing vegetables and grains, but with the great flavor of the beef cheeks from the night before still in my taste buds’ memory, I thought I would discover the pork sausage. Oh my, what a marvelous taste! This “home-made” was made very well!

By the fourth night, I decided on a simple meal for my last with them. I returned to the carrot, lemongrass, and ginger soup, and concluding with (again!) the coconut ice cream.

At the Apsara, I found time-and-again, a high level of flavoring; careful thought as to items and their pairings; and always, consistent execution. Combine the efforts of the kitchen with the cordial, professional, and high quality service from the ‘front of the house’, and you have quite a fine restaurant. You have the Apsara!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Daniel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (342)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

145 - 149 of 342 reviews

Reviewed 19 June 2014

We stopped at this restaurant without any plan, just spontaneous decision to try. We tried 2 different local dishes and they were VERY GOOD. So we ordered the 3rd one, which was also very good. Price was not cheap but it was really worth it. We tried the dessert of lemon ginger ice cream with fried cassava crisp. It sounds weird, I know, but it's really to die for. Last order was 10 pm but you can sit there as long as you want after the place closed.
If I go back to Luang Prabang I'll definitely visit this restaurant again.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank vet181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

After our seven week holiday in Thailand and Laos we rated our experience at The Apsara as one of the top 3 meals of our trip (NB: Our degustation dinner at Nahm in Bangkok - didn't make the cut). My husband and I shared the House smoked fish with laos herbs on betel leaf as a starter - yum! Just the right amount of kick from the chilli relish to give it a hum and the freshness of the herbs meant the whole thing just danced on your tongue - delicious way to wake up the palate for our mains. My husband chose the twice cooked duck leg and papaya salad and I chose the buffalo cheeks, chilli caramel, cabbage salad & crispy shallots. Huh! We both decided our own was the best - after trying each others - so smiles all round. I should point out here that 'spicy' is a subjective term and we found that when we were ordering and explaining that 'yes' we do like spicy at other restaurants during our trip - we still ended up with a dumbed down and flavourless version of the original. Here we were not asked about spice, yet the dishes 'again' had that perfect hum and balance of chilli and spice (for us) that other places seemed to miss the mark on. The mains were both amazing and substantial - still managed to share a bowl of ice cream (do try the ginger) to finish. The service was great - though during low season I think there were more staff to clients on the evening we dined - so that should be the case. Regardless of this the top ups of water (complimentary), and numerous glasses of wine and beer and the timing of the meals was perfect. An excellent evening that will be remembered. If you splash out on one meal during your stay in Luang Prabang - I would definitely recommend trying out the Apsara.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank alralph_adventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Went to the Apsara during our stay in Luang Prabang.

We ordered each 2 dishes, 1small and 1 large main dish. (Salad and Steak with Beans and bread)

The food and the Service was great, but we were still hungry after finishing the meal and ended up at a Pizza place afterwards.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank Mudjadja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2014 via mobile

We had a great meal at this restaurant. We sat outside and the food and service were great. The food was fresh and clean. Our young kids found good things on the menu for them--my daughter loved the steak. Desserts were great!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank DavidVuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Apsara also viewed

Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang Province
Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang Province
 
Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang Province
 
Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang Province
Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang Province
 

Been to The Apsara? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing