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Video Reviews

Vientiane restaurants, food & drinks

  ASIAN FOOD RESTAURANTS 
LAOS  FOOD
Makphet Restaurant
Add: Th In Paeng, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 260587
Email: contact@makphet-restaurant.org
Price: mains 60,000K
Opening hours: 11am-10.30pm
Makphet, managed by Friends International
(www.friends-international.org), helps disadvantaged
kids build a future as chefs and waiters. The stunning
villa sits in lush gardens lit at night with fairylights. The interior is no less inviting, the service a cut above
average, and the cuisine superb with Lao fare like lahp.
Try the red hibiscus sorbet and coconut ice cream. Romantic.
Lao kitchen restaurant
Add: Th Hengboun, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 254332
Web: www.lao-kitchen.com
Price: mains 40,000-50,000K
Opening hours: 11am-10pm
This superb contemporary Lao restaurant is unfailingly creative in its execution of trad-Lao dishes. Colourful walls, indie tunes and decent service complement a menu spanning stews to Luang Prabang sausage; and laap variations, stir-fried Morning Glory, spring rolls, Mekong fish soup and palate-friendly sorbets. Choose the level of your piquant sauce with a one to three grading.
Amphone Restaurants
Add: 10/3 Th Wat Xieng Nyean, Vientiane, Laos
Price:  mains 45,000K
Opening hours: 11am-2pm & 5.30-10pm
Featured on celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain's
Discovery TV series, this upscale oasis of wood floors
and salmon-coloured walls is refined and cool. Aside of
an encyclopaedic wine list, Amphone's menu replicates traditional Laotian dishes based on owner Mook's grandmother's creations. 'Luang Prabang sausage'
and 'fish citronella' are but a few. Try the snake bean salad or tom yum soup.
 
Han Sam Euay Nong  Restaurant
Add: Th Chao Anou, Vientiane, Laos
Price: mains 8000-20,000K
Opening hours: 8am-7pm
Cheap, tidy and tasty, this busy family-run restaurant
features must-have dishes like nǎem khào, crispy balls of deep-fried rice and sour pork sausage shredded into a saladlike dish,and the delicious khào pûn nâm jąew, thin rice noodles served in a pork broth with pork, bamboo and herbs. This unmarkedrestaurant is located directly adjacent to the Lao Orchid Hotel.
Han Ton Phai Restaurant
Add: Th Pangkham, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 21 252 542
Price: mains 10,000-20,000K
Opening hour: 9am-10pm
An escape from carb heavy bakeries, this Lao mainstay
is earthy and authentic, its menu spanning pork laap (minced pork in a chili-spiced mint salad) to kôy pąa (10,000K to 20,000K), a chunky salad of freshwater fish and fresh herbs. There's no English-language sign,
so keep an eye open for the billboard that says
'traditional food'.
 
Khambang Lao Food Restaurant
Add: 97/2 Th Khounboulom, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 21 217 198
Price: mains 10,000-70,000K
Opening hours: 11.30am-2.30pm & 5.30-9pm
A little up from the river, the Lao food in this powder-blue joint is worth the wait. Expect fresh grub so spicy it leaves a zingy footprint on your palatte. Delicious laap (spicy pork salad), roasted Mekong fish, fried frogs' legs; áw lám, described on the menu as 'spicy beef stew', and tasty Luang Prabang style sausage. Yum!
Khop Chai Deu Restaurant
Add: 54 Th Setthathirath, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 21 251 564
Price: mains 25,000-60,000K
Opening hour: 8am-midnight
In a remodelled colonial-era villa near Nam Phu, Khop Chai Deu has been a travellers' favourite for years
because of its range of well-prepared Lao, Thai, Indian
and assorted European fare. Upstairs is a new low-lit bar with slick urban swagger.
 
Nam Ngeum restaurant
Add: Ban Na Khuen, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 20 5551 3521
Price: mains 15,000-50,000K
One of a handful of restaurants at Ban Na Khuen, Nam Ngeum gets good reviews for its tasty gôy Ъąh (tart and spicy fish salad), gąang Ъąh (fish soup) and neung Ъąh (steamed fish with fresh herbs).
INDIAN FOOD
Taj Mahal Restaurant
Add: off Th Setthathirath, Viientiane, Laos
Tel: +855 12 808011
Price: meals 25,000K
Opening hours: 10am-10.30pm Mon-Sat, 4-10.30pm Sun
Hidden down a sidestreet opposite the back of the Culture Hall, this unpretentious earthy joint dishes up fresh and lively curries and melt-in-your mouth naan. Portions are generous and you can sit semi-alfresco. Good veggie selection too (20 dishes). Tasty chicken masala.
 
TURKISH
Istanbul restaurant
Add: Th François Ngin, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 20 77978190
Price: mains 70,000-100,000K
Opening hours: 9.30am-10.30pm
An authentic slice of Istanbul, this welcoming place has doner and shish kebabs, meatballs, hummus and falafel. Try the Iskender kebab – grilled beef with pepper sauce, yoghurt and green chilli. All meats are fully marinated and the super-charged Turkish coffee will put a spring in your step.
 
JAPANESE FOOD
Osaka  Restaurant
Add: Th Nokèokoummane, Vientiane, Laos
Price: mains 30,000-80,000K
Opening hours: 8am-10pm
A lively hole-in-the-wall, with slatted chairs on a plant-filled verandah, cosy Osaka tempts you inside with its lipstick-red booths. Oodles of noodle variations, sashimi, veggie dishes, sushi and tempura. 
 
KOREAN FOOD
Korean restaurant
Add: Th Hengboun, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 20 208 7080
Price: mains 30,000-180,00K
Opening hours: 9am-11pm
Lacklustre name aside, this Korean-run place is great for sampling what is currently the most popular foreign cuisine in Southeast Asia. Most locals go directly for the Korean barbecue (80,000K), but we liked the kimchi stew (30,000K), served Korean-style with heaps of side dishes.

VIETNAMESE FOOD
Vieng Sawan Restaurant
Add: Th Hengboun, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 21 213 990
Prices: mains 16,000-46,000K
Opening hours: 11am-10pm
In the middle of Chinatown, Vieng Sawan is a bustling open-sided restaurant that offers a fun eating experience.
It specialises in nǎem néuang (Vietnamese
barbecued pork meatballs) and many varieties of yáw (spring rolls), usually sold in 'sets' (sut) with khào pûn,
fresh lettuce leaves, mint, basil, various sauces for
dipping, sliced starfruit and green banana.
 
Little Hanoi restaurant
Add: Th Fa Ngum, Vientiane, Laos
Price: 40,000K
Opening hours: 9am-11.30pm
 This mercifully chilled restaurant on the waterfront is peaceful and shadowy, with wall-mounted antique drums and soft lighting that transports you to the artist quarter of its eponymous city. The menu is varied and ranges from Hanoi soup with beef, spring rolls, papaya salad and fried Morning Glory to Hanoi duck with rice, and fried squid in celery.
PVO restaurant
Add: off Th Simeuang, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 21 454 663
Price:mains 18,000K
Opening hours: 6am-7pm Mon-Sat, 6am-2pm Sun
This fresh, no frills Vietnamese run eatery is one of the better places in town to grab lunch, and in addition to several tasty spring roll–based Vietnamese dishes (16,000K), PVO does some of the best khào jįi pá-tê (half/whole baguettes 8,000K) in town.
 
                                                                    WESTERN FOOD RESTAURANTS
 
FRENCH/ MEDITERRANEAN FOOD
La Signature Restaurant
Add: Ansara Hotel, Vientiane, Laos
Web: www.ansarahotel.com
With Billie Holliday drifting onto the fan-cooled terrace of glass-topped wicker tables (and upstairs in the ochre
hued restaurant), La Signature is perfect for throwing on your smarts and taking a romantic supper. Pan
fried salmon with blue cheese, lobster, roast lamb and thyme... a few of the delights awaiting you in this beautiful French villa.
Bistrot 22 restaurant
Add: Th Samsènethai, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 20 5552 7286
Price: mains 65,000-250,000K
Opening hours: 11.30am-2pm & 6-10pm
Moved a little further out of the centre to a less bubbly locale, Bistrot 22 is however enjoying great reviews for Chef Philippe's lustrous cuisine and dishes like pear salad, deep fried apple and camabert salad, tender steaks and cauliflower soup. This intimate little restaurant is the gastro highlight of many people's visit to Laos.
Le Silapa restaurant
 Add: 88 Th Setthathirath, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 21 219 689
Price: mains US$20
Opening hours: 11am-11pm daily
Recently relocated Le Silapa is beautiful in its shishi whiteness complemented by wood floors, raftered ceiling and bird cage lights. Vientiane's finest Gallic restaurant features favourites from foie gras to salads, steaks to veal brains casserole. It's upstairs at the excellent iBeam bar. Magnifique.
 
La Terrasse Restaurant
Add: Th Nokèokoummane, Vientiane, Laos
Price: mains 40,000-100,000K
Opening hours: 11am-2pm & 6-10pm Mon-Sat
With its old-fashioned French ambience of white-topped tables and custard-cream interior, this is a real gem for well-executed Gallic cuisine. Plenty of choice from steak au frites , steak Provencal , pan-fried fish, quiche, soup and boeuf bourguignon, as well as thin-crust pizza. It's also popular with French expats for its tempting wine list.
Le Vendôme restaurant
Add: 39 Th In Paeng, Vientiane, Laos
Prices: mains 50,000K
 Opening hours: 5-10pm Tue-Sun
Hidden behind a cascade of ivy, it's almost as if this
vintage French restaurant is in hiding. The menu
comprises very reasonably priced soufflés, pâtés,
salads, wood-fired pizzas, terrines and steaks. The
candle-lit interior, peppered with vintage bull-fighting posters, is perfect for a romantic evening.
L'Adresse de Tinay restaurant
Add: Wat Ongteu (behind the Temple), Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 20 5691 3434
Price: mains 130,000K
Opening hours: 5-10.30pm
Alchemising an eclectic gastro landscape of snails and scrambled eggs, sea bream fillet, beef tenderloin, rack of lamb and rosemary, and to die for creme bruleé perfumed with Madagascan vanilla, Chef Tinay is one of the city's top chefs. Great place to dress up, and in a new location right next to Makphet.
ParadIce restaurant
Add: Th Lan Xang, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 21 312 836
Price: mains 35,000-45,000K
Opening hours: 11am-7pm Mon-Sat
In the grounds of the Institut Français this airy, comfortable cafe is a real oasis to sit and read accompanied by a coffee (and quick Wi-Fi). There's French news on the tube and a range of sandwiches and cakes to keep you quiet. Don't miss the delicious ice creams and chocolates.
 
 
SPANISH FOOD
Pimentón Restaurant
Add:  Th Nokeokoummane, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 215506
Web: www.pimentonrestaurant-vte.com
Price: mains 80,000-170,000K
Opening hours: 11am-2.30pm & 5-10pm Mon-Sat
With its high ceilings and sleek bar this is widely considered the best steak restaurant in the capital. Only the choicest cuts of sirloin, chateaubriand and ribeye make it to its fiery open grill. At lunch there's tapas – think imported jamón ibérico, calamares and charcuterie of cured meats. Run by a lovely husband-and-wife team.
 
ITALIAN/ PIZZA FOOD
Aria restaurant
Add: 8 Th François Ngin, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 21 21 222 589
Web: www.aria.org.com
Price: mains 60,000K
Opening hours: 11am-2.30pm & 5.30-11pm
This ice-cool Italian haunt pipes classical music across its tangerine interior hung with Lao tapestries, and serves a range of soups, pasta, risotto, pizza and steak dishes with aplomb. If there's a better pie in town, then we haven't found it.
 
MEXICAN FOOD
Common Ground Café
Add: Th Chao Anou, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: +856 20 7872 7183
Price: mains 29,000K
Opening hours: 7am-8pm Mon-Sat
Air-con cool, in this family-friendly Mexican cafe. Sofas to read on, a cold-selection counter boasting wraps, quesadillas, falafel, salads and homemade cookies. Best of all though if you've got kids, is the enclosed shaded play area outback with a slide and climbing frame. Finally, a place you can relax while your kids are within view.