Golden-brown, crusty, and begging to be bitten into, bread is one of the most simple yet satisfying foods one can indulge in. While bread-making is inherently European, us Southeast Asians needn’t book a flight all the way across the world to get our hands on a warm, hefty baguette. As most Southeast Asian countries have European pasts, plenty of Southeast Asian cultures have adopted and mastered the craft – take Laos for example.
Personally, nothing captures my eye quite the way a mound of bread does. Whist taking an afternoon stroll down Sakkine Road, I came to a sudden stop in front of Zurich Bread Artisan Bakery, unable to take my eyes off of the attractive window display. Ducking in to have a look around, the shop turned out to be brand new and was just as warm and welcoming as their fresh loaves of breads looked, with a friendly wait staff, snug surroundings, and a heavenly aroma.
Having just had lunch earlier, we promised to return the next day – and that’s what we did. While we were happy to dine right by the open kitchen, you could opt to sit upstairs and peer down to see what the other patrons were having. For us, it was their Zurich Bread’s Brunch and croque monsieur topped with a smooth-as-a-baby’s-bottom layer of cheesy Bechamel sauce. The coffee was from Illy, and while it probably isn’t what most cafe-hoppers look for nowadays, made a fine pairing for the shop’s homemade cakes and bakes.
Zurich Bread Artisan Bakery is part of a group that started in Bangkok that was established with a policy of making the best artisan bread in the area. The group had only recently extended its reaches to lovely Luang Prabang but it has already gained itself a happy clientele. As travelers passing by, it may be a while before we find ourselves in Luang Prabang again – when we do come back however, you can be sure to find us at Zurich Bakery.