My favourite northern-style laap place in Mae Hong Son closed a while back and it’s taken until now to find a replacement.
On this visit I’ve been getting my laap on at Laap Phrae. Phrae is a province in northeastern Thailand that’s associated with this and other meaty, northern-style dishes, such as the infamous luu. The owners of this restaurant are natives of Phrae, but don’t do luu.
Instead, they do the remainder of the spectrum of northern Thai-style meat dishes, including a decent nuea nueng, beef steamed over herbs and served with a spicy galangal-based dip; various grilled meats, from the user friendly beef to the more challenging paeng nom, cow teats; and kaeng om, an herbal, meaty stew.
But I tend to stick to the laap. Their laap muu khua, northern-style fried pork laap (pictured above, served with greens and herbs and sticky rice), is good, but not amazing. The spice mixture is quite course and the seasoning a bit heavy-handed, but it’s a tasty full-flavoured and meaty meal. The beef version is probably a bit better, and is heavy on the pepper-like dried spices makhwaen and dee plee. They also apparently do laap khwaay, raw buffalo laap like I had up in Chiang Mai a few months ago.
Laap Phrae Th Siri Mongkol, Mae Hong Son 088 431 1754 10am-8pm
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