If you’re traveling in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, there’s no shortage of restaurants to choose from. You can’t find a single street without a bright, yellow BeerLao sign, advertising a pub, local eatery, or hotel.
But this restaurant, serving every variation of duck meat that a Laos chef could dream up, has got to be at the top on your list of places to eat. It is literally a grilled duck paradise.
In this article, I am going to share all the details with you.
Anna Grilled Duck Restaurant ຮ້ານແອນນາ ປີ້ງເປັດ
First of all, I have to say a huge thank you to Mee, her husband Billy and all his friends too really, because without them there’s no way we would have known to come here – the restaurant didn’t even have a menu!
We had met Mee and her friend while having coffee just outside our Airbnb apartment unit. Our new friends had an idea to meet up later for dinner.
We arrived a bit before 6PM, the grill was getting hot, and there were already several more cars parking in front. We grabbed a table between the kitchen and the well-lit backyard music stage.
My senses were buzzing with excitement being hit by both the smells coming from that kitchen and the sound of meat sizzling over open flame.
Great Hosts, and Great Food
When a host ALREADY knows where they’re going to take you literally in the next breathe after inviting you, its safe to say that you’re not going to be let down.
I couldn’t quite catch the order, but I did hear the word duck about a dozen times… honestly I was just salivating watching plates of roasted bird being passed around.
What to Eat
Now, for the food.
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The dish that you just have to try is called Laab Baeng Pet (or just ‘Paeng Pet’).
They weren’t actually making the totally raw version on this particular day, so we settled for cooked meat with the raw blood – which was just wonderful in its own right of course.
If you’ve ever imagined a single bite containing a blast of fresh herbs, rich, oily minced duck meat, mouth-cooling jelly, all covered with crackling fried shallots, then you’ll absolutely love this food.
Duck Blood Salad – A Laos Specialty
Amazingly, its not oil that makes this dish so red, but blood collected from the freshly prepared duck.
They take the blood directly from the duck, stirring it the whole time to keep it from clotting together.
Along with raw duck blood, a combination of Laos mint, roasted peanuts, green onions, freshly chopped chilies, and crispy fried shallots were added, making this one of the more refreshing (but also fiery) bites of food I think I’ve ever come across.
Your Key Steps to Greatness
Before you dig in, first squeeze some lime juice onto the entire plate of raw duck blood salad.
Next, you’re going to want to prepare yourself a fresh raw chili by dipping it into the shrimp paste – this is going to be your chaser.
However it sounds at first, let me assure you – the flavor was not what I had imagined at all. Wonderfully fragrant, no coppery sensation at all.
The smooth, rich textures, accompanied by crisp smells from the gigantic amount of shredded herbs, it really is a dish that brings people in Laos together. A wonderful combination.
I had never had anything like this before, but honestly I didn’t just have seconds – I had thirds. This was incredible. If you’re in the capital of Vientiane, Laos, you absolutely cannot miss this dish.
Grilled Duck with Fermented Fish Sauce
You should also order at least one grilled duck, it is marinated in a sauce that can only be described as ‘Genius.’
There were many flavors going on, but I’m sure the main ingredient has to be Laos Padaek (the fermented fish sauce of Laos), the kind found in Green Papaya Salad as well.
The chef smears it onto the duck before grilling, that fermented fish flavor matches with the smoky aromas wonderfully.
Eating like a Local
Roll a small ball of sticky rice in your eating hand, then reach over and grab a piece of duck. There were a few dipping sauces to choose from as well, but really, the duck was so flavorful on its own it didn’t really need any sauce.
After that bite, take your pick from Vietnamese coriander, saw-tooth herb, yard beans, or even another chili, from a side plate of fresh herbs. They are there to clean your mouth after each bite, and also manage the building fire.
To be honest we had several plates of ‘Laap Pet’ as well, but we couldn’t leave before finishing three massive dishes of that wonderful Paeng Pet.
This was our last night in Vientiane, successful with yet another local Laos meat feast.
Plenty of restaurants serve Laap Paeng Pet in Vientiane, Laos, but Anna Grilled Duck is one of the best.
How To Get There
Anna Grilled Duck is almost directly South of the riverside center of the city (the area where most hotels are located), and should take about 10 minutes by tuktuk from the riverside walking/market area. Coming from the Talad Sao (Morning Market/Bus Station), it’s only about 3km.
See the map below (the restaurant is just behind the Australian Embassy).
Anna Grilled Duck Restaurant ຮ້ານແອນນາ ປີ້ງເປັດs
Open hours: 2pm-10pm (live music starts around 8pm)
Prices: Plan on 50,000-60,000 kip for each meat dish
Also, check out my Vientiane travel guide for more helpful tips about your stay.