11 July 2024

Following the highly successful solo debut of K-pop sensation Lalisa Manoban, better known as Lisa, the headdress she wore in the LALISA video, viewed 143 million times in just the first five days after its release, has been selling like hot cakes, while her interview with Thai talk show host “Woody” on Saturday has shone a spotlight on the meatballs in her hometown of Buri Ram, in north-eastern Thailand.

One of the shops in the Sampeng area revealed that, since the release of Lisa’s video, they have seen a 10-15% increase in income, after their sales had dropped during the pandemic, adding that they managed to sell 40-50 pieces, both in-store and online. Also, many customers from China, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos have also ordered these headdresses online, including new customers from Russia and Tibet, which saw a 15-20% increase in online sales.

Lisa also revealed, in an interview with Woody Milintachinda, that the first thing she would do if she returned to her hometown of Buriram is to eat meatballs at Buri Ram train station. This led to the meatball stall attracting considerable interest.

This meatball stall in Buri Ram is called “Look Chin Yuen Gin”, literally translated as “eating pork balls while standing”, and has been around for more than 40 years. With its secret recipe for the meatballs and sauce, as well as the eating while standing in front of the stall, inspired the Tourism Council of Buri Ram to create an annual “world pork ball championship” festival. The event first took place in 2017, before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic saw meatball shops lose income, from tens of thousands of Baht to only hundreds, as well as the closure of many food stalls. Lisa’s recent interview, however, has led to the meatball shop seeing up to 2,000 orders, which has never happened before.