If you haven’t been to Laos, then you really should. It is a beautiful, simple, spiritual place with awesomely hot food, and one particular dish that I will kill for – Laos sausage (the very good ones in Thai Hut in Wanchai, still pale in comparison to the real thing).
If you need some more convincing then the next time you’re in Bangkok go try the food. There are a few Laotian/Isaan restaurants in BKK, the most well known one being Vientiane Kitchen. We were put off this one by the concierge and the fact that they have a band and dancing, which isn’t really my bag, so instead we went for Cafe de Laos.
Food: Very tasty food. Laos sausage-tastic. These are rustic, garlicky slightly fermented sausages served with fresh coriander leaves, slices of chili and peanuts. Bloody love them. The beer marinated pork neck and jungle curry were also really good. Quite a lot of interesting dishes with more of a bent towards river fish and shellfish rather than seafood as Laos is landlocked, so flavours are quite delicate. DO tell them that you eat food hot like they do, otherwise they will tone down on the chillis for sure, thinking that you are a useless nancy farang.
Drinks: They serve Beer Lao which is always a bonus. They even have a wine list, although I’m not really up for pairing Laos food with wine yet. Beer is perfect for me!
Ambience: Restaurant is in an old colonial house, and it’s pleasant enough, but the main ground floor room where we ate was rather bright and lacked any vibe at all, which is a shame because the food is very good. There is also a lot of wood and tiles, so very little material that damps down noise. You do feel a bit like you are in a National Trust tea-room in the UK.
Service: Service was a little slow, and fortunately for us they actually forgot one dish which was fine as we were stuffed.
Price: Very reasonable, can’t remember exactly, but it was very good value for the quality of food.
Location: In Silom, 16 Silom Road Soi 19. Tel +662 6352 3389
There are a few more Laos and Isaan restaurants in Bangkok which I would try over going back to this restaurant, simply because I believe there must be somewhere with better ambience. Can’t fault the food though.