Chan Maly, Vientiane

If exploring foodie spots in new cities isn't fun, I don't know what is. Though I confess that wasn't what had brought me to falang favorite, Chan Maly, this lunchtime. Rather, it was the allure of the ubiquitous Aussie dessert, pavlova,  "the pav"

Why a cosy little French cafe would be serving pavlova is beside the point. It was, so I went. 

Chan Maly is tucked away a bit out of town, near Manee Spa, which also conveniently happens to be in my neighbourhood. Popular with resident falang, Chan Maly has an easygoing mix of charm and character that makes you feel right at home. Like you could curl up your legs on the corner couch and read a book from the nearby shelf of 50 or so titles. Or while away the evening with a bottle of Pinot noir and a charcuterie plate, or two. 

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Owner and soon-to-be father of twin boys, Mat, served us at the last remaining table inside. Honestly, I was just there for the pav but I felt I should make the pretense of eating lunch first. Chan Maly is known for its burgers but I wasn't too hungry so I ordered an Italian salad and az had the beef cheek pasta. 

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Az had a fresh coconut juice while I ordered a fresh lime juice which never eventuated but I was quite happy drinking carafes of cold table water. Mat came by later on and asked if he had forgotten something.

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Funky jazz tunes bopped in the background and conversation buzzed around us in a mixture of English and French. As the small tables of office workers dispersed, I got up to take some photos, feeling very much the tourist. 

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Finally it was time for the piece de resistance. Chan Maly's desserts are often made by resident falang, Jo Lidbetter, who runs cooking classes for both locals and expats, and the popular Facebook group, Cooking in Laos. That's where I'd seen the heads up on the pav. 

And it didn't disappoint. Two almond meringues sandwiched freshly whipped cream and dollops of passionfruit. The almond added a nice touch of nuttiness and had it been about twice the size, I would have been well satisfied. Alas, it was a French portion sized dessert. 

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C'es la vie. When in Paris, no? Well, now wait a minute...

What's your favourite dessert from home?