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“Fine Lao Dining”
Review of Kualao Restaurant

Kualao Restaurant
Ranked #22 of 434 Restaurants in Vientiane
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $30
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Kualao is not just a paragon of Vientiane hospitality, but is also a charming example of French colonial architecture and a treasury of the finest, authentic Lao cuisine. --------- Kualao Restaurant is Vientiane's most popular, internationally recognized, up-scale and authentic Lao food restaurant, where both local and visiting diners bask in an ambience that flawlessly reincarnates the romantic and sophisticated atmosphere of early colonial French Indochina. Kualao is discretely, and conveniently, nestled on the corner of the city's landmark That Dam Intersection, which is known for the famous 'Black Shrine' stupa that sits at the center of the nearby roundabout. The restaurant is housed in a charmingly elegant, vintage villa that, until only decades ago, formed the residential estate of French colonial officials. The restaurant's exterior epitomizes architecture 'a la francaise', invoking thoughts of the society parties, business deals and political intrigue that must have taken place there in the colonial era. The interior, however, whispers the soft Lao overtones of a traditional Southeast Asian interior. The distinctively patterned textiles, the rattan wall rendering, the discrete lighting, the traditionally glazed ceramic plates and the elegant golden cutlery is distinctly Lao and has been fused with modern, international essentials, such as a fully stocked wine cellar and an English language version of the menu. The harmonious blend of East and West is typified by the beautiful female hostesses in their traditional, multi-colored Lao Sinh skirts and the male 'garcons' in their formal, western-style black trousers, white shirts and bow ties. In its days as a prominent colonial estate, the Kualao building played host to Vientiane's elite society. Now, as Vientiane's most prestigious Lao restaurant, it is still the perfect place to meet, relax, enjoy sumptuous food and impeccable service and be captivated by enchanting Lao entertainment. You cannot truly say you have experienced the best that Laos has to offer unless you have dined at Kualao.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

The food was exquisite. The service attentive. The setting superb. The restaurant is housed in an old mansion. The cultural show was in good taste. Great value for money too!

Thank MeowPaws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kualao, Owner at Kualao Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2017

Dear MeowPaws,

Thanks for your glorious review. It was exquisite and superb (to borrow the words of a great reviewer)!

We will pass on your compliments to the chef and the wait staff!

We hope to be able to serve you again in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 - 190 of 316 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2012

As several other reviewers noted, this seems to be a tour group destination. The evening my group (of conference participants) ate at Kualao, the restaurant was set up only in long tables. There were no tables of 2 or 4 diners; I think about 10 was the smallest table the evening we ate. Also, when we arrived, only one table was full, yet within about 20 minutes, the entire restaurant was full.

The food was nicely presented, especially the rice, and our group enjoyed the taste of many of the dishes. It was the best opportunity many of the conference participants had to enjoy local food, as the hotel served mostly Western cuisine. However, the restaurant was very noisy with so many large groups, and the entertainment was also too loud for normal conversation level.

I think it was the overall dining experience that was less than perfect than the food itself. As soon as the last desserts were served, our group left, as did, it seemed, everyone else in the restaurant. There was not on that evening the normal coming and going of diners that you usually have in a restaurant.

I would be willing to eat here again if it were not full of tour groups and the atmosphere were more suitable for an evening's conversation.

    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ManilaExpatMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kualao, Manager at Kualao Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2012

Thank you for your compliment on the taste and presentation of the food. Our team appreciate your valuable feedback.

This few months is the peak season for tourism in Laos. Our tables are reserved weeks in advance by luxury tour agencies. That is why you saw the set up with long tables for group tour.

May you have a chance to visit us again, please let us know in advance so we can reserve a table for you in the room with no dance show, so it will be more suitable for private conversation.

Customer satisfaction is our upmost priority at Kualao. Thank you for your suggestion so we can continue to improve our service.

May you have a good day.

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

A good recommendation from our guide. The seasonal menu included steamed baby wasps, deep fried crickets and ant egg salad - we didn't order these!

Thank T00ts10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kualao, Manager at Kualao Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2017

Dear T00ts10,

You should have ordered those! There's nothing like trying these kinds of foods. You can't get more exotic than this.

Thanks for your support. We hope to be able to serve you again in the future.

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Reviewed September 9, 2012

This is my first visit to Laos, and one of my friends took me there for dinner. The food is certainly delicious, except the bamboo shoot soup which was supposed to be one of favorites of the Lao people, but I found it not to my taste. The restaurant also has a dinner dance show -- simple dances but they showed the culture of the Lao people. It was a good and introductory experience to the Lao culture. The service was outstanding.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 5flower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dalaphone P, Owner at Kualao Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Thank you for your encouragement. We try to keep our food as authentic as possible to provide our guests with real Lao cuisine. Some of the dishes are made of local produce unique to Lao, so it might take some getting use to.

We are glad you had a great time in Kualao. We are looking forward to seeing you again.

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Reviewed July 23, 2012

- service is good, staff is friendly and restaurant is clean, in the city center.
- traditional Laos food was tasty and delicious, except the pork Laap. It's not good as I expected and tasted in Thai restaurants.
- a bit expensive and not for budget travelers.
- They have live performances so reserve or choose the table that can see the stage

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
2  Thank giftdeath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kualao, Owner at Kualao Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded July 10, 2017

Dear giftdeath,

Thanks for your honest opinion. However, I'm certain that Thai pork laap is very different from Lao pork laap. I also appreciate that you prefer one over the other. What I can offer is that if you would like your dish prepared a certain way, please let our customer service manager know, and we shall try our best to accommodate your request.

We hope you'll choose to dine with us again.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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