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“Both visits, wonderful”
Review of Bida Manda

Bida Manda
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Ranked #1 of 1,483 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
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.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

My wife and I have eaten at Bida Manda twice, once with our grown sons and once with two colleagues. Both visits were terrific. The interior is interestingly decorated with bamboo-like reclaimed wood, and the place feels both simultaneously upscale and laid back. There's a long bar along one side (facing several tables), and other area behind a half-wall with more tables. The food is a wonderful mix of the familiar and the new (if you haven't experienced much Laotian food); the familiar items have interesting twists. The first time, we ordered the lettuce wraps, which were terrific; the second time, both the fried spring rolls and the (cold) fresh rolls, and they were fabulous. My wife ordered the caramelized ginger pork ribs with boiled egg, grilled asparagus, and jasmine rice on both her visits, and I joined her on that the second time, mostly because of how much she raved about them. This is melt-in-your-mouth pork that slides off the bone, marinated to perfection. I had the pad thai on the first visit (always a good test), and it was excellent. One of our colleagues ordered the pumpkin curry with root vegetables and jasmine rice and let us have a taste: first-rate, with interesting flavors and fairly spicy. My son ordered the catfish soup--he raved about it. The waiter brings little glasses of an interesting, cooling drink at the end of the meal, and a basket of shrimp chips at the start. Service on both occasions was excellent, except that on the second visit, our waiter told it us would be 15 minutes wait for a mixed drink because the second bartender hadn't arrived. We found that a little odd and ordered wine (which took a wee bit longer than expected but not annoyingly so). On the second visit, one of our colleagues had a peanut allergy and the waitstaff were super accommodating, explaining exactly what had peanuts and holding the peanuts from the special she ordered, a green papaya salad with huge shrimps (it normally comes with chicken. This is currently one of our favorite places in Raleigh. If you have wine or drinks, it won't necessarily be a cheap meal; we spent about $90 for two, including tax, tips, and two glasses of wine each. But well worth it. Reservations are helpful (with all the strong reviews); five days before a Saturday night, we had only a 6 p.m. or 10 p.m. option on Open Table; an hour after I made the reservation, there was only 5 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

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Thank DoctorCompRhet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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694 - 698 of 757 reviews

Reviewed June 19, 2013

Rates as one of the best restaurant experiences I've ever had. The prices are good, the hospitality is top notch and the attention to detail was exceptional. We got there close to the end of the night and the staff was obviously tired but they didn't leave us feeling neglected and were always smiling. The food was amazing. Chicken Curry was nicely spicy without overpowering the food. The Ginger Pork Ribs were superb. We will definitely be back.

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Thank kdpez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

We had a great experience at Bida Manda. Our waitress, (Kandita?), was personable and attentive. We had the lettuce wrap appetizer that was very good, but not at all like you're used to at PF Changs. I tasted many of my friend's entrees and everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meal. The price range of 30$ seems a little high. My pad thai was 16$. The atmosphere is different and very appropriate for a city restaurant. It is a great place for a date or friends. I wouldn't recommend it for a group larger than six because it is fairly small with limited large tables. Also, since the decor is mainly pieces of wood and rafters, the noise level is a bit louder. It's definitly directed at a younger audience or couples. I would recommend this place!

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1  Thank uncwmel10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

We tried this for a special occasion and the food was great at lunch time. Waiter explained questions with passion rather than just answering and was caring person. Owner I believe was also walking around checking things and helping make sure things are in order. They served some drink that is non-alcoholic as a treat which tasted like lemon juice but a very nice gesture. Would go ahead and recommend it.

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Thank Anonymous49463
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Having dined at Bida Manda 4 times now, I can report that the quality of food and service are consistently excellent. What a treat to have a Laotian restaurant in downtown Raleigh. It’s a great opportunity to show off the local dining scene to visitors as I have yet to find anyone who has been to a Laotian restaurant! Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha are always welcoming and manage the logistics superbly. Every dish has been terrific. Favorites include Duck Larb, Pork Belly Soup, and the Saffron Crepe with shrimp and bacon. Bida Manda is truly a local treasure!

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Thank JackA5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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