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“Cute spot on Moore Square”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Bida Manda

Bida Manda
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Ranked #1 of 1,444 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: International, Asian, Thai
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Large groups, Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: R Line, R15 City Center Deck, Moore Square Stop
Description: Right in the heart of downtown Raleigh, Bida Manda is a thoughtful and sharp gathering place celebrating the diverse food and culture of Laos. Bida Manda is one of the very first Laotian restaurants in the US. Sanskrit for father and mother, we name the restaurant Bida Manda as our way of honoring our parents in Laos who taught us everything we know about food, hospitality, and the power it has in bringing people together. Our parents' recipes are the inspiration for our menu. Every dish on our menu is exactly what we grew up eating. They are the kind of dishes you might find on the street corners of Luang Prabang and at a Laotian home. Come in and go away with us on sensational culinary journey to Laos. ------ Whether it is a birthday dinner for 10 guests or a corporate event for 100+, we will work with you to craft your memorable dining experience. Please contact Vansana Nolintha at vansana@bidamanda.com for more information.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Cute spot on Moore Square”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

I went for a large party. The food was average but could be because it was served family style. The service is excellent. Atmosphere is really cool. The bartenders will make you very different drinks based on what you tell them you like. They don't have "normal" beer or mixed drinks. Overall, good experience.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ashley M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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682 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    499
    136
    37
    8
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
60 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Very Nice”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

We had heard good things about this restaurant and just read a review in the paper so we had to try it. We were pleased that we went. It's in the still blossoming downtown area so had a lot of people around. The restaurant was designed to honor the Laotian heritage of the owners and it was very comfortable. Then the food came. I had Pho. My first adventure with Pho and it was great. The waitress said it was a big bowl and she wasn't kidding. In addition to the Pho, a tray with about 6 different condiments was included. I wanted a bit of a kick so I added a garlic mix. It set my mouth on fire and I loved it! Excellent taste. Others at the table had Basil Stir Fry, Pad Thai, and Duck. Everyone gave great reviews. And, I can't forget the beer: I had an Ambroise Apricot Wheat beer - great and the perfect match (to cool off my mouth!) for the Pho. Nice atmosphere, great food, and an all-around good experience.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jwellsman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
965 reviews
681 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 452 helpful votes
“Interesting dishes - well worth a visit...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2013

Very interesting menu and wait staff know the menu well (or at least ours did!).

We were a group of 5 and had a selection of different dishes, including the Sea Bass special, which were all well presented and very tasty.

Would come back again for sure...

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Geoff and Jenni G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
791 reviews
474 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
“Excellant new restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2013

Four of us had a 6:15 reservation on Sat night. We were seated just as soon as our driver parked the car and walked in. We met both owners at the time and were pleased by the conversation. Bida Manda replaced a restaurant we all had liked that moved from downtown Raleigh out to the Bell Tower at NC State Univ - Duck & Dumpling now called David's Dumpling & Noodle Bar. So we were wondering how the new restaurant would be. Bottom line - we liked it as much as David's. The dining area & bar have been redocorated so we didn't recognize the interior. Laotian vs Chinese. Our server was excellant. Since it was our first time there, she spent a good deal of time answering all the questions we had. Between the 4 of us we had Soft Shell Crabs & Summer Rolls for appetizers, then Duck Larb the traditional way, Beef Larb, Chicken Curry & the beef special for entrees. They all were served witht the right amount of heat we asked for. For those who don't care for really hot, spicy food you might consider asking for less heat than you might otherwise want. With us however, we all like hot food so everything was just perfect. While none of us had any alcohol, the drink menu looked very interesting and with our next visit we will have to try one of the special drinks. Definitely recommend to anyone looking for authentic asian food. Most people really don't know what Laotian food is like so consider it somewhere between Vietnamese, Thai & Chinese.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Levon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
55 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“So glad we have Bida Manda in Raleigh”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013

Had a 7:45 p.m. reservation on a busy Saturday night. We were immediately struck by the warm welcome we received from the hostesses. We were sat immediately at our table, where we sat on oddly-shaped tin chairs which weren't all that comfortable. Our server was fantastic - friendly, personable and knowledgeable. We followed her recommendation for our shared appetizer which was sausage-stuffed pepper. It was very, very hot, but delicious. May be too hot for many tastes. My wife and I both had the chicken curry having read the raving reviews on Tripadvisor. We were not disappointed. It appears in a large bowl and the mound of rice in the center is hidden by the soup-like curry that as been poured over it. I followed my wife and mixed all of the ingredients together, which i think it the best way to eat it. Although you can't decide the heat level of the dish, you can ask for more coconut milk on the side to add to it if it is too hot. My wife requested this when she ordered but it never appeared. In the end she didn't need it because the heat level was just fine. I would describe it as medium or medium-hot. Everyone who visits Bida Manda needs to try this amazing dish. The sauce is delicate without being watery and the chunky carrots and potatoes melt in the mouth and offset the heat level of the sauce. There is a generous amount of chicken and we both scraped our bowls clean.

As a side note, I would like to commend the restaurant for their level of service. The manager (owner?) came to our table to check on us and everyone we had contact with was warm and welcoming. That is not something that happens in many restaurants, particularly ones that have only been open for a year. Well done to whoever is doing the hiring/training at Bida Manda!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Pomds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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