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“A fun experience”

Tamarind Cooking Courses
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Tamarind Restaurant in Luang Prabang offers day and evening cooking classes in open air pavilions overlooking lily ponds just outside of town. Participants in day classes are taken there after a visit to the fascinating main market, where they are introduced to the unusual and intriguing ingredients that are the basis of Lao cuisine. From there it is off to Tamarind Gardens to cook Lao dishes in the authentic Lao style. Evening classes are shorter. Individual work stations allow you to follow the instructions of an entertaining and informative Lao teacher, whilst a bevy of staff clean up after you. The sessions end with a sumptuous meal, where you eat the fruits of your labours! Transport to and from Tamarind Restaurant and recipe book all included. Vegetarians welcome.
Reviewed 19 November 2013

I did the evening class and thoroughly enjoyed it. The young chef who taught us (sorry, I forgot his name) was fun and informative. His english was also very good which is a big plus. The class is in a beautiful setting outside of Luang Prabang. They pick you up in front of the Tamarind Restaurant and take you to the class via Tuk Tuk. Our chef explained the different courses that we would learn how to prepare and then he demonstrated everything. After each demonstration, we would go back to our work station and prepare the same thing. If you needed any help, he was right there to assist you. He also had some other young men who quietly took away any plates or utensils that you were finished with and they washed them. (Now that's how I like to cook!) We all prepared the different courses and then we sat down together and enjoyed a lovely dinner. I definitely recommend this fun evening.

1  Thank Sharon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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303 - 307 of 503 reviews

Reviewed 7 November 2013

We loved our day at Tamarind - mostly because our tutor Chai (sp?) was such an awesome guy. He made the whole experience fun, easy and informative. The setting of the cooking school is incredible and the facilities were impeccable. We cooked several delicious dishes and the cookbook looks very handy. Very, very highly recommended. If you've never done a cooking class before this is the one!

Thank j9nz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2013

Did not think cooking could be so much fun. This was made easy with the teacher (Chai - hope I spelt it right as he said it was like the tea) being so alert and funny. It started with the tour of the morning market where he described in detail all about the local food. They're where some areas such as the butchers with all fresh meat that could have been off putting for some but before we went there he asked all if they wanted to take a short-cut to miss and catch up later. Very alert. Then we were off to the school which was just out of town. The food was very fresh and everything he showed us how to do, unfortunately I think I will leave the cooking to the wife. The food we cooked we ate and the rich in the banana leave was yummy. I do think the amount we cooked each was too much. Strongly suggest you give this a go and congratulation to Chai and his team for letting us have an enjoyable time.

Thank AussieGreggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2013

Our group of 7 thoroughly enjoyed our cooking class with Jay (head teacher) and Sang (trainee).
We did 6 meals with a variety of herbs, spices, meats, vegetables and tofu. The vegetarian options were well thought out beforehand, so we all cooked and ate together.
Wandering around the market before heading out to the cooking school was an extremely informative session with Jay, although there was so much information about the various herbs that most it was quickly forgotten until the class started.
Compared to classes elsewhere in South East Asia, it is a little expensive, but still good value.

1  Thank mjinvietnam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

We did the day course which starts with a trip to the market. The guide identified and explained local vegetables and herbs as well as some cooking tools, the meat section and processed foods.
Then we were taken by local taxi to the school which is outside Luamg Prabang in a gorgeous setting next to a lily pond and small river. The cooking then starts and you do sticky rice, either tomato or eggplant paste, fish in banana leaf, chicken stuffed in lemongrass and larb with minced buffalo meat. There are vegetarian options. The recipes are great - we ate what we cooked and it all tasted great. You watch the guide/chef do a quick prep and explain and then you go back to your cooking station and do it yourself.
For me, I would prefer the list of ingredients put up to include quantities as it is easy to forget as there are a lot of ingredients. Secondly, you cook until about 1-30 before you eat and I was really hungry. A break mid morning rather than a drink at the start would be welcome with a snack. Also if you have back problems standing al morning could be tough.
We all ate the food we had cooked together, and were told we could order drinks. No one asked what we wanted and we finally asked one of the assistants for a glass of white wine and were told that they had run out- not so good.
After lunch you cook sticky rice for desert which is served with a selection of local fruits. Then local taxi back to the city. We were dropped off at Tamarind at 2-30pm - a bit earlier than on the program. Maybe we were a quick group but I got the feeling that we were being rushed a bit at times. Also when I tried to take a photograph of my husband cooking the guide told me off - nothing had been said about whether we could take photographs and I though that was a bit rude.
However, overall this is a good experience and the food and recipes well chosen. You get a little recipe book at the end.

1  Thank Go55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TamarindCaroline, Owner at Tamarind Cooking Courses, responded to this reviewResponded 17 October 2013

Thanks for alerting us to the issues you mentioned. We'll look into them at once. As you can see from this website though, visitor photos are welcomed and frequently uploaded. We think there might have been a misunderstanding about your instructor's advice not to leave cameras in the food preparation area to avoid accidental damage. We're sorry for the confusion. And finish times depend on the number of participants, and their desire to linger, eating, drinking and conversing.
Glad we met with your general approval!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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