A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.

Khambang Lao Food Restaurant

Posted date:  April 16, 2010

Grilled Mekong river fish at Khambang Lao Food Restaurant, Vientiane, Laos

After more than a month in Vientiane, I have to admit that it’s still the case that I’ve still only been able to find a scant handful of places that do good Lao food. Luckily I live literally around the corner from one that I, not to mention many locals, consider the best place in town.

Nang Kham Bang (‘Ms Khambang’), or as the sign says, Khambang Lao Food Restaurant, is a third-generation family run place serving a relatively short but solid menu of Lao dishes. I’ve eaten here at least eight times now, both by myself and with others, and can say with confidence that the kitchen is consistent and service is also good, the latter a true rarity in Laos.

Just about everything here suggests quality, even down to the good-quality and perfectly steamed sticky rice:

Sticky rice at Khambang Lao Food Restaurant, Vientiane, Laos

The house dish is fish (pictured at the top of this post), in the form of a half or whole paa neua on (a type of freshwater fish) lightly seasoned and grilled. Mekong River fish is also featured in kaeng som paa, a sour fish-based tom yam-like soup with lots of dill, bai menglak (a basil-like herb), shallots and galangal:

Kaeng som paa, a sour fish soup, at Khambang Lao Food Restaurant, Vientiane, Laos

They do an excellent sai ua:

Sai ua, Luang Prabang-style sausage, at Khambang Lao Food Restaurant, Vientiane, Laos

a Lao-style sausage, often associated with Luang Prabang, that’s less herbal than its similarly-named Thai counterpart. Other good meat dishes are a sublime grilled beef tongue:

Grilled tongue at Khambang Lao Food Restaurant, Vientiane, Laos

very good laap:

A dish of pork laap at Khambang Lao Food Restaurant, Vientiane, Laos

including an excellent koy plaa (like laap, but made with larger chunks of freshwater fish), and jee sin lot:

Sin jee lot, beef that has been grilled and tenderised, at Khambang Lao Food Restaurant, Vientiane, Laos

strips of beef that have been grilled until charred then scraped of all the burnt bits and pounded until tender.

Other dishes worth ordering are or laam, a thick stew-like stew of beef or pork with lots of herbs and vegetables; a very good jaew mak len, a dip of grilled tomatoes; and I reckon their tam maak hung (som tam — papaya salad), served here with tiny crispy tomatoes and even tinier freshwater shrimp, is the best version of the dish I’ve encountered yet in Laos.

Khambang Lao Food Restaurant
97/2 Th Khounboulom
+85 217 198

View Thai Eats in a larger map

3 Comments for Khambang Lao Food Restaurant

[…] two types of nam phrik khaa, a galangal-based dipping sauce. I first encountered a similar dish at Nang Khambang in Vientiane, Laos, but this version is meatier and fattier, and less […]

Website Trackback Link…

[…]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]…

[…] cuts of meat are grilled then tenderised via the vigorous thwacking of a mallet. It’s a dish I first encountered in Vientiane, Laos, then later in Chiang Mai. I’ve come across a few similar places since then, but Muu […]

Wanna say something?