You know Laos.
It’s the country in Southeast Asia with the excellent national cuisine that, somehow, hasn’t had a dedicated London restaurant serving it.
Because thanks to the head chef and founder of Rosa’s Thai Café, Saiphin Moore, the appropriately named Lao Cafe has landed in the Big Smoke, doing so in Covent Garden of all places.
Hey, didn’t they do a pop-up in early 2016 that had queues out the doors from day one?
Yes, yes they did. And now they’re here to stay in a permanent home, with bright graffiti artistry on the walls, patterned tile flooring and rustic wooden seating, which is also, thankfully, permanent.
I love permanent seating. So what’s Laotian cuisine all about?
Glad you asked. Drawing from neighbouring countries Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as its history as a former French colony, Laos is a hotpot of fusion, Southeast Asian cooking. Which makes it entirely appropriate that core dishes include actual hotpots alongside sticky rice and chargrilled meat and fish.
Sounds good. Can you be more specific?
Yes, actually. At Lao Café they’re serving up dishes like Pla Pao Gluer, salt-grilled whole fish with aubergine chilli dip and vermicelli noodles, and Hoi Dong, a pickled clam and papaya salad. There’s also the Asian sausage soop (salad, not soup) and, for the particularly adventurous, Om Hed, a mixed mushroom soup (actual soup) with ants’ eggs (actual ants’ eggs).
Just don’t say it too loudly, everyone will want them…
NOTE: Lao Café is open daily from 12-10.30pm (11pm Fri & Sat), and only takes reservations for 6 or more people. You can find out more HERE.
Lao Café | 60 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HG
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