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“Nice Restaurant that gives you the Laotian taste”
Review of Kualao Restaurant

Kualao Restaurant
Ranked #17 of 400 Restaurants in Vientiane
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $30
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, 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.
Level Contributor
111 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Nice Restaurant that gives you the Laotian taste”
Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

After passing by the restaurant on one night, my boyfriends and I decided to give it a try on the next because of the nice atmosphere of the restaurant and the big crowd going in and out. And yeah It was a great choice!

Thai and Laotian food are pretty much similar as we are neighboring countries and I can say that 99 percent of Thai people like Laotian food. I enjoy the food here very much especially the sausage and the eggplant paste serving with vegetables. It is true that this place is touristic but it is also true that the food here is good and tasty. They also offer the food set for foreigner so they can try many Laotian food in the tapas size but I didn't order as I'm a big eater lol

The service is ok but very slow. The Staffs can speak very limited English but can speak Thai very well. The bill came out to be very reasonable and I definitely recommend my friends to eat Laotian food here.

Thank Mentita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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282 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Vientiane, Vientiane, Laos
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“It was very noisy and it took ages to get the order”
Reviewed December 25, 2012

Food was average, but pricey. As I said earlier the place was very noisy and difficult to hear people talk.

Visited March 2012
Thank Sally S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
231 reviews
99 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Good atmosphere”
Reviewed December 23, 2012

We were directed here by our guide as a good example of Lao cooking. As it was our first night in Laos we had nothing to compare it to, but thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the larp as our first experience of that dish. Also good spring rolls - they are everywhere of course and chicken with cashew nuts was also very good. We saw locals as well as tourists here. The stage is not visible to all for the folk dancing but we were much relieved by that! The coffee was awful!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Institution in Vientiane”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

Ooodles of digitaries passing through Vientiane have passed through here. It is relatively expensive and upmarket, you can try Lao food here (which can be an 'acquired taste') and also see a live Lao band and dancing. It has quite a nice ambiance

Visited October 2012
Thank Fred_Nerkos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
177 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
“Great food ? Well, to each his own !”
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Judging from the tour buses and vans parked outside the restaurant, it was clear that Kualao caters mostly to patrons of organised tours as majority of diners there were foreigners.

Service was quick & after a brief wait, dinner was served. The mainstay of this restaurant was traditional Lao cuisine but I found the taste of the dishes a little wanting and lacking the authenticity of traditional Laotian food that I have tasted elsewhere. An example would be the Pork Laap and Papaya Salad (Thum Mak Hoong) which did not do much justice to the traditional dishes at all. What about the rave reviews then? Well it is subjective & depends on who wrote the reviews, experience with Asian cuisine, other encounters & what not.

There was a small stage for a cultural show during dinners but sadly the stage was positioned in a way that only a third of the diners could get a view of the performance.

All in all, I would say that the food here has been overrated and pricey as it caters mainly to the mostly upmarket travellers.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Danny K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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