Well it used to be Vientiane's Best Kept Hidden Indian (Pakistani) Secret, until people like me started sharing it with all their friends. Hidden at the end of an alley that most people simply pass by, which makes it feel like you're not inside the noisy city even though you're literally 5 mins from the traffic, Jamil Zahid Punjabi Restaurant was THE place to go for me and my friends when we wanted an Indian fix.
Here's the kind of experience that you can expect:
- The variety of food on offer is splendid, tastes better than the other places that I've tried in the city, and the servings are generous. It's seriously great value for such good food. I'm a huge fan of the veggie dishes, garlic and cheese naan, and banana lassi.
- Free wifi (not the greatest speed-wise but it worked the last time that I was there)
- A used book donation service. They let my travelling friend borrow a book from there which was really nice - hopefully somebody will donate a book shelf because the pile on the table was getting out of control! If you're travelling and finished a book, leave it on the table for somebody else to enjoy!
The best thing that this place has going for it is its family. Zahid and his wife are wonderfully warm and hospitable, and their son Jamil is sweet lil guy. One time it was freezing cold out and Zahid and his wife set up a table inside their house for our group! We were so grateful!
I will warn you that service can be slow, even slower than standard "Lao service time", when the restaurant is packed but I think that's a testament to the quality of the establishment and a great sign that people love it and keep coming back.
I know it'll be one of my first stops for dinner when I'm back in Vientiane that's for sure!
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