Popular, with a show
In a beautifully restored colonial mansion, Kua Lao has a great atmosphere and popular set menus of Lao food and wine.
Every evening there is a cultural performance of traditional music and dance, and the diners are an interesting mix of package tourists and Vientiane's well-heeled. The food is high-quality and presented beautifully, though the price of the show is factored into the food and the same dishes cost half as much anywhere else.
Set meals provide a variety of standard Lao dishes and run 120,000 kip and 180,000 kip for one and two people respectively; meals are pretty big and could stretch to fill an additional mouth. The individual dishes are on the small side.
Standard fare like laap and spicy salads are available, but when considering the inflated prices it might be prudent to order something more unique, like the ginger steamed fish or their delicious stuffed duck, at around 70,000 kip each. Nonetheless, dinner at Kua Lao certainly makes for a memorable night out. For a less touristy experience, try going at lunch time.
By Ivana Lexa-French
Last updated on 7th July, 2015.