Spicy ant eggs are a common Laotian dish; Lao Cafe in London.
The Facts
NAME: Lao Café
IT'S: a casual restaurant serving Laotian food

16-01-2017

OPENED: January 16th, 2017
DID YOU KNOW: According to Lao Café's website, "more [sticky rice] is consumed in Laos than anywhere else in the world."
LOCATION: Covent Garden
ADDRESS: 60 Chandos Place, London WC2N 4HG
CLOSEST TUBE: Leicester Square
OPENING TIMES: Sunday - Thursday 12-10:30pm; Friday - Saturday 12-11pm
WEBSITE: Visit Site
CONTACT: 020 3740 4748
INSTAGRAM: Visit Instagram

Lao Cafe

OPENED 164 DAYS AGO

Lao Café is a new restaurant in Central London serving Laotian food, opened by the team behind Rosa’s Thai Café.

The restaurant began as a pop-up in 2015, but after great success, Rosa’s co-founder Saiphin Moore decided to launch a permanent site.

Food as Culture & Heritage

Sign for Lao Cafe in London.

Moore was born in Thailand to a Laotian family, and now she’s bringing the food of her culture to London. Anyone who thinks Asian food is all the same would do well to give Lao Café a try. Although Laotian food is similar to Thai – the two countries do share a border – it has its own unique flavour profile and culinary traditions.

Communal dining is a big part of Laotian culture, and so the café’s menu is structured around shared plates – and sticky rice. Other staples of Laotian food include char-grilled meat, freshwater fish, spicy curry, raw vegetables and bold sauces.

Although the dishes are listed on the menu with their traditional Lao names, English translations are included – so there’s no chance you’ll order, say, the malang tod (crispy fried bugs) by mistake.

Spicy, Vivid, Authentic

Laos-style noodles; Lao Cafe in London.

The menu is mostly made up of salads, grilled meats, curry, hot pots and stir-fry. There are seven varieties of papaya salad alone. As for entrees, the pla pao gluer, or salt-grilled whole fish for two, sounds like a winning choice.

Other menu items include a chicken soup & toasted black sesame hot pot; fermented Lao sausages; char-grilled pork skewers; spicy salad with char-grilled aubergine; and bar snacks like deep-fried chicken wings and beef jerky.

The restaurant spans two floors and seats 60. It has a casual, conversational atmosphere – a relaxed place to try authentic food with some friends and learn a little bit about another culture.

To explore other kinds of Asian food, try Sakagura (Japanese) or Pho Street (Vietnamese) next. Use our Just Opened Map of London’s best new restaurants as your guide to the city’s culinary scene. We update it weekly with the latest openings.

The Facts
NAME: Lao Café
IT'S: a casual restaurant serving Laotian food

16-01-2017

OPENED: January 16th, 2017
DID YOU KNOW: According to Lao Café's website, "more [sticky rice] is consumed in Laos than anywhere else in the world."
LOCATION: Covent Garden
ADDRESS: 60 Chandos Place, London WC2N 4HG
CLOSEST TUBE: Leicester Square
OPENING TIMES: Sunday - Thursday 12-10:30pm; Friday - Saturday 12-11pm
WEBSITE: Visit Site
CONTACT: 020 3740 4748
INSTAGRAM: Visit Instagram
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