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“A Superb Dining Experience”

the balcony by Lanith
Ranked #60 of 202 Restaurants in Luang Prabang
Price range: $7 - $25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner
Description: Dear Customers The Balcony restaurant is CLOSED FOR TRAINING PURPOSES at the moment - thank you all so much for your support. Our training centre is in full time training - for information on the Lanith Passport to Success training program please contact the email address shown A RESTAURANT WITH A CAUSE! The Balcony is a restaurant with a cause. As a social enterprise all of our profits are reinvested into community development by providing access to international standard food and beverage skills training for young Laotians aspiring for a career in the dynamic hospitality and tourism industry. Exposure to a real life culinary environment, coupled with rigorous classroom learning is the backdrop for changing lives. As Laos' leading provider of hospitality and tourism education and training, the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (Lanith) has operated the Balcony since 2013 as a training restaurant. All staff have been certified by Lanith to deliver service on an international level. These highly motivated locals are eager to exceed your expectations by focusing on every detail and to ensure an unforgettable dining experience. We are just minutes from downtown Luang Prabang, but light years from the tourist hordes. Step into the Balcony's spacious restaurant just moments away from Laos' ancient capital and make yourself comfortable overlooking Nam Dong river and the mountain panorama. Come join us for a memorable dining experience or stay in one of our four guest rooms and help us to make a difference in the local community. Our menu mainstays include signature seasonal dishes based on local ingredients some grown in our herb garden. We also offer a vast line up of top-shelf cocktails and a growing wine list. We pride ourselves on delivering top quality service and train our staff, from waiters to cooks, through our award-winning Passport to Success industry training programme. Come and stay with us! We offer four guest rooms and we also have a meeting room facility. The Balcony is open during the tourism high season from September until April. From May to August we do open for bookings with a minimum of five people - just phone the day before. WE PROVIDE FREE TRANSPORT!
Southern Pines, North Carolina
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A Superb Dining Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2014

This is a unique dining experience. The chef has developed a basic, yet wonderful menu which combines local and international flavors. The meal is not cheap, but you get what you pay for. I recommend the set menu. You won't be disappointed or leave hungry. The desert was outstanding and the service was wonderful.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank On_A_Journey_Today
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thebalconyLPQ, Owner at the balcony by Lanith, responded to this review, September 1, 2014
We are so sorry to take so long in replying to your review. We are so happy that you had a good experience at our training restaurant. It means the world to the team that you took time out to give us a review. We also hope that you feel good about the contribution you made to helping young Lao people get quality training thus helping the larger community. All the best and thanks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    49
    7
    4
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Colorado
Level Contributor
89 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Delicious”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2014

We were picked up at our hotel which was a nice touch. The food was delicious and the service was good. It was a very European meal I didn't see a lot of fusion in it but that was fine with me we needed a break from Asian food. The owner is very attentive to all your needs and is teaching the staff to do the same. It was all in all a pleasant evening. They have a few kinks to work out dealing with things like the climate.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank willtravel72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thebalconyLPQ, Owner at the balcony by Lanith, responded to this review, September 1, 2014
Dear willtravel72
Apologies for this overdue response to your review. We are delighted that overall you had a good experience and that the tuk tuk drive was fun.
Although we are a training restaurant, we do not use this as an excuse for any 'kinks' and we are sorry that you experienced them. We just hope that you are happy with your contribution to our cause to train young Lao people in hospitality and to help the greater community here.
Thanks again for taking the time to write
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Really great food and fantastic value”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2014

If you want to spoil yourself, while in Luang Prabang (apart from just visiting this amazing place), then visit the Balcony for dinner. A handy pick up service from your hotel will come and pick you up and after a short ride from town, you will arrive to a beautiful venue and be escorted, of course, to the balcony. I suggest booking in busy times as it does have limited space outside. Prepare to be treated to some classic and well prepared dishes, with a Loas twist. Lots of fresh local ingredients and some inspired culinary ideas made this a thoroughly enjoyable experience... And a romantic night out for a honeymoon treat.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Troy-Vida E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thebalconyLPQ, Owner at the balcony by Lanith, responded to this review, September 1, 2014
Dear Troy-Vida E
So, so sorry for our late reply. And a massive thank you for your kind review. The team here is delighted that you had a happy evening with us. It is hard to juggle the social enterprise aspect of our restaurant and we don't always get it right but we appreciate that felt you had valued experience. Please come see us again
All the best
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
95 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Simply delicious!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2014 via mobile

We went there yesterday and used the free pick up service which worked really well.

Balcony is a project which trains local people so don't be surprised when they first seemed a little bit shy. The whole evening the service did a really great job!

My boyfriend tried the bigger menue (risotto & braised buffalo cheeks) and I had the salmon as a starter and the mekong fish
for main course. They offered homebade bread which was delicious. We also had an amuse bouche, which was great too.
The risotto was one of the best we've ever had (and it means someting because we live close to Italy). My salmon tasted good but in my view not perfect. The main course,- especially the meat of the buffalo cheeks were melting on our tongues. The mekong fish was also really tasty and the homemade ravioli were a perfect combination. What I personally don't need is this "heavy sauce" so I was pretty full after a couple of bites.
Dessert was a highlight!

So as the last mentioned before one of the staff was sick and we also heard him or her chocking up loud cough. It sounded disgusting but I didn't see it.
I would highly advice the owners to avoid that, because you want to offer the Lao people a high-level education and to let someone work although he or she is pretty sick isn't high level at all.

All in all we had a really great evening and could highly recommend this food-experience!

Btw: They don't accept credit cards!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Nintschi76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heintz V, Manager at the balcony by Lanith, responded to this review, May 22, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank your for this fantastic review, we are very happy that you liked the balcony experience.

I would like to mention that nobody of our staff is sick (no need to send anybody home), and that I'm really sorry that you feel disturbed by this sound. We will work on this matter, but please one more time it has nothing to do that somebody is ill and needed to be send home.

Best Regards,
Veronica Heintz
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Hit and miss”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2014

We were one of two couples that dined last Saturday evening (low season). I wanted the Salmon, and out of their 5 main options they did not have it which was disappointing.

We ordered the longer set menu (4 courses) and I substituted beef cheeks for Mekong Fish.

The Risotto was undercooked which was sad particularly as the presentation was impeccable. Presentation of all meals was fantastic.

The main my partner got, Beef Cheeks, he loved - it was smooth and tender, and the potato mash was delicious. My Mekong Fish itself was cooked perfectly - however the sauce it was on was horrible, a light brown thick creamy sauce that didn't reflect the delicateness of the fish so I did not eat much.

The dessert however was fantastic, it was just how it is seen on pictures on the tripadvisor site - a chocolate/icecream plate, and the chocolate sauce accompanied with it was great.

The maitre de was fantastic, he was constantly supervising his staff - who were all very attentive and helpful, exceptionally polite, and although they were slightly nervous at the high standard of service required, they were trying very hard which was great.

One real downfall of the evening was one of the staff was sick - a westerner. At first when we arrived we thought it was an animal like a dog in the building, having that choked up loud cough where you think they are almost going to throw up. This continued ALL during our service, and during our entree my partner saw it was one of the servers which made it even more offputting. Send her home!!!! She wasn't needed, the restaurant was so quiet, and her cough was just horrible. We would be eating our meal, hear it, stop and look at each other, it was just the worst sound.

The tuktuk pick up service was however, great.

7/10.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Abellairs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heintz V, Manager at the balcony by Lanith, responded to this review, May 22, 2014
Dear valued guest,

after reading your comment I'm really surprised to here that you did no like the Risotto, i will take care personally of it, especially as all our guests love it and we get fantastic feedback for it.

I would deeply appreciate that all our staff is treated with respect and not considered as a dog. There is no reason to send anybody home, no one of the balcony staff and no one of the western supervisors is sick.

I apologize for the inconvenience caused and we are working on a solution.

Thank you.
Veronica Heintz
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