Monday 28 March 2016

Tum Sap Pun Nua Lao Cuisine (ตําแซ่บ พันนัว)

Not knowing much about Laos food, I was curious. Looking at the name, "Tum Sap", I guessed that it would probably serve a variety of somtums (papaya salad), and I was right!

Tum Sap Pun Nua is a chic modern looking restaurant with a spacious, open feel. It's actually quite a comfortable place to sit and enjoy a meal. I've been there several times and thought the food there excellent. Surprisingly though, whenever I go, the restaurant seem to be quiet (which is nice for me!).

The menu, as I mentioned, had a large variety of papaya salads to choose from. We opted for the Tum Thai. I know, I know, I shouldn't be ordering Thai food in a Laos restaurant, but "Tum Thai" is my favourite variety of som tum. Tum Lao (I don't know if this is really the Lao version, or if Thai people just calls it that!) also contains fermented fish, which does give the papaya salad a particular flavour. I can eat it, but it's just not something I truly enjoy.. but that's just me. :P

The papaya salad at Tum Sap Pun Nua at 65 baht, is not the cheapest of somtums, but it was well made and well flavoured. I noticed that it is not as sweet as "Tum Thai" from Thai som tum places where I normally would have to ask for "not sweet", and it also had the perfect amount of spiciness for me (where in other places, it would have been too hot. I would normally ask for 2 chillis).

Pho Vientian (beef). I really enjoyed the broth. I thought the soup was lovely and also it is served with various condiments, including some shrimp paste, lime and chilli on the side. The broth is already great without anything else added, but I did add the shrimp paste and lime to see what it would taste like (lovely too - with a richer, earthier flavour). The serving was quite big and there was a lot of noodles. I wouldn't have minded less noodles and more soup! The beef was a bit tough. 85 baht. You can choose between pork (75 baht), chicken (75 baht) , beef (85 baht) or fish (95 baht).

Ua Trakai Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang Herbed Sausage. 85 baht. This is Tum Sap Pun Nua's version of the much loved Chiang Mai Sausages (Sai ua). In this version, pork is mixed with various herbs and lemongrass and the "sausage" is placed in a "nest" of lemongrass and deep fried. Lovely and fragrant. The sausages were a little rich if eaten by themselves, but goes well with the ginger (served on the side).

Tum Sap Pun Nua also serves a variety of other dishes that I'd love to try. Their fried fish is also excellent.

All in all, I always enjoy dining at this restaurant. The atmosphere is lovely, air-conditioning cool (very important especially in this very hot weather), friendly staff and excellent food. I think the food here is also quite good value. Our dinner for 2 set us back around 230 baht and we were really full!

Tum Sap Pun Nua ตําแซ่บ พันนัว
V Community, 1st Ring Road, next to Payap University
Tel: 089 758 4408, 053 126075
Opens: 10am - 10pm daily
GPS location: 18.798926,99.032916

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