Today marked a return visit to Vientiane Thai restaurant. I’m on holidays, and I hope to use that time to post a whole bunch of new material, as well as update some older posts. As I was going through potential post I realized that it has been 8 years since I wrote up Vientiane Thai.
One thing I notice when I look at thes4e old reviews I didn’t really pay attention to decor. They seem to be almost entirely about the food.
This time around, the decor really caught my attention as I walked in. This is a really red restaurant. The walls are divided in half. The top half is and orange-red,. while the bottom half is a fire-engine red.
Now, as it has been several years since the review, although I have visited at least once in between it seems that there are fewer tables now. Not a lot, but it appears Vientiane Thai has taken seriously the idea of allowing for space between customers.
I ordered two items for my meal. Before I went to the menu, I went through my original post to see what I had previously ordered. It turned out that I had not ordered either Green Curry Soup, or Pad Thai. Since these are two dishes I really like I ordered a small soup and the Pad Thai. On the heat scale of 1-10, I played it fairly cool, and ordered them at 7.
The soup was top rate. For one thing it was hot. For another, it had a good amount of heat. I dislike cooked food that arrives lukewarm or worse. As for spice. I could have handled more, but there is still plenty in the dish. Best of all the vegetables were nice and crisp.
Much like the Green Curry Soup, the Pad Thai came with a good amount of spice attached to it. The chicken is plentiful and tender. A little more peanut on top would add a little extra crunch to the dish, but it is still very good.
I have a whole bunch more restaurants still to write up, but I’m going to keep Vientiane Thai in mind for those days I find myself up along Marion Street.
In my still relatively new work neighbourhood, there are no shortage of good places to eat. So far I’ve visited about half a dozen or so, and there are still more to come. My most recent visit was to Vientiane Thai.
On my first visit to Vientiane, I was taken there by Geoff Woodcroft, one of my priestly colleagues. We decided that we would stick with a heat level of three which our server told us was their medium. While I like my heat, I also appreciate the chance of finding out how good the food is without much spice.
We ordered the Pat Kheeng Puck, which is a vegetarian ginger dish(although you can add in meat if you would like). This dish had a strong but not overpowering ginger flavour to it, but the heat at three wasn’t all that noticeable. The other dish we had, sorry no picture, was the Pat Nut, with chicken. This dish comes with cashews and was actually a fair bit hotter than the Pat Kheeny Puck. These two dishes along with a bowl of rice made for a good lunch for two, with even a little bit left over. Thanks for the lunch Geoff.
Vientiane Visit Two
When I went for lunch a second time, I decided I would order appetizer, soup and a main dish. For the appetizer I went for the rice rolls. There were two of them and they were stuffed full. There was shrimp and chicken along with the rice noodles, bean sprouts and a little cilantro. None of the flavours overwhelmed the others, and the dipping sauce was not overly vinegary.
The Zuki Yaki soup was definitely the highlight of the items I tried. Firstly, it was stuffed full of solid ingredients. There was lots of meat, vegetables, and noodles. Secondly, this time when I ordered I went with a heat level of seven. As a result I ended up with a soup that was both hot and sweet at the same time. Both elements were in perfect balance with each other. Not only that, but there was no real saltiness to interfere with that sensation.
Finally, I had the Laap. Laap is decribed on the menu as a meat salad. It’s not, however, a green salad. The salad consists of meat(I went with beef) along with red onion, bean sprouts, green onions, carrots and ground up roasted rice. The roasted rice gives it a nice crunch.
The beef was very tender, and again, like the dipping sauce for the rice rolls, the dressing had a nice vinegary taste, but was not overdone. The server told me afterwards that people tend to either love it or hate it. Put me firmly in the love it camp.
Along with being friendly, the service at Vientiane is quite efficient as well. Both times, there were not long waits to either have the order taken, or for it to be served. Neither time was the restaurant full, but it was still fairly busy. One practice I really liked is that when they brought water to the table, they left the pitcher after filling the glasses. Vientiane also showed they deliver great flavour with or without heat, as you prefer.
If you find yourself up on Marion, Vientiane is definitely worth checking out. In fact, it’s worth your while heading to Marion just so you can check it out.