Kimsatcat Korean Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos, may serve the world’s most generous banchan. The snackable dishes are twice the size of what you find in the States (and Seoul, for that matter) and they’re constantly being refilled. Located on the Nam Khan River, Kimsatcat is a 10-minute walk from Old Town and just two blocks from LP’s ancient Visounnarath temple. What the stark white interior plastered with soju ads and posters of K-pop bands lacks in charm, its owner makes up for in spirited service.
Mr. Kim runs a tight ship, scanning his restaurant with a hawk’s vision. “The japchae is running low on table 4—more japchae, stat!” we imagine him bellowing behind the scenes. Mr. Kim speaks Korean, Lao, and Japanese, but just a smidgen of English. No worries. His menu is packed with color photographs of Korean classics like bibimbap and kimbap; just point to what looks good. For us, that meant seolleongtang (ox bone soup, simmered overnight), haemul pajeon (seafood and green onion pancake), godeungeo-jorim (braised mackerel with radish and chili), and sizzling samgyupsal (grilled pork belly).
The restaurant is popular with Korean tour groups, so don’t be surprised if you’re the only table of two or four amidst packs of 20. Consider it testament to Mr. Kim’s authentic cooking.
Bonus for travelers lacking local SIM cards: Kimsatcat has fast, free WiFi and two six-port mobile phone chargers. ‘Grams away!
Khang Wat Meuna (near the old bridge in Meuna Village), Luang Prabang, Laos; +856-20-58-550-000.