Southeast Asian Restaurants on a Mission: Feeding Body and Soul

 Four cities, three countries, four restaurants serving superior food, providing community training and accepting reservations – you’ll need one.

Place setting at Koto, Hanoi, Vietnam
Carrot cake at Koto, Hanoi, Vietnam

Koto, Hanoi, Vietnam (Know One, Teach One), founded in 1996 by Australian Vietnamese Jimmy Pham, has set the standard for grassroots not-for-profit restaurant ventures.

Forest Refuge & Papaya Cafe, Luang Namtha, Laos

Trekking first brought Karen and Andrej Brummer from New Zealand to Luang Namtha, just like nearly all visitors. Yet they soon felt a desire to remain and do something: Forest Refuge Bamboo Lounge.

Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant, Bangkok, Thailand, is famous, amusing and serious. Where else in Southeast Asia will there be a condom decorated Christmas Tree.

Makphet Restaurant/Friends-International, Vientiane, Laos

I tried to dine at Makphet three times during two trips to the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Given the hype about this must-go-to restaurant, I was pleased that the experience was worth the wait.

Ingredients for Yum Khi Tom

A classic recipe, Yum Kai Tom incorporates all the basics that elevate Laos cuisine to a food experience.

Interior of Dibuk Restaurant, Phuket Town, Thailand

For the best bistro (far) east of Paris, try Dibuk Restaurant, old Phuket Town, Phuket Island, Thailand – no joke.

Thailand, Laos & Vietnam: Southeast Asian Restaurants on a Mission

Enjoy all my articles at Suite101.comInternational Dining Examiner and Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner for Examiner.com

Bangkok 2012
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