My family and I have been frequenting Lao Village for years. It’s one of those Asian restaurants that is so good that it’s become an institution. I went there for a casual dinner with my family in the past couple of weeks, only to discover that the restaurant had opened another branch located just around the corner, directly across from the entrance of Fairfield station.
The walls and interior of the new restaurant have the same purple colour as the original restaurant, which makes it easy for customers to recognise that the two restaurants are one and the same. Due to having come early on a Saturday night, the five of us were immediately seated without a reservation. Menus come in English as well as Vietnamese.
One of the best aspects of Lao Village, is that it serves large portions despite having cheap prices. After ordering a few dishes, we didn’t wait very long at all for our food to be served.
The Lao Style Ham ($11.00) was topped with cashews, coriander and shallots. The colour and thickness of it prompted me to think that it was spam, my favourite meat as a child, but when I put a piece of ham into my mouth, I found that the texture was not similar to spam in any way. The ham was harder and less salty than I expected. A squeeze of lemon added a nice tang, but overall, this was not something I would order again.
Paw Paw Salad Lao Crab & Anchovy Sauce ($11.00) is a family favourite. Lao Village’s version is done exceptionally well, with tangy anchovy sauce, thinly sliced paw paw, chili and crab claws. My whole family and I prefer the Laos style version of paw paw salad over the Thai style, any day of the week, but it is not recommended for people who can’t handle a good deal of chili. It is so tasty that my brother loves eating it, despite the rivers of sweat running down his forehead and nose as he does so.
The Crunchy Fried Rice with Lao Style Ham ($11.00) was one of my favourite dishes. However, I regretted ordering the ham, when I saw that the same one was included with the rice. The crunchy exterior of the rice provided a nice contrast to the softer pieces of rice as well as the ham.
We also had another rice dish ordered, less so because our appetites demanded it, and mostly because my brother is a pescetarian. This second rice dish was Lao Style Fried Rice with Seafood ($12.00). The rice had a hard top, with fresh, well-cooked pieces of seafood, but I preferred the crunchy fried rice with ham.
For anyone who is a voracious meat-eater, the BBQ Ox Tongue ($12.00) here is a must-try. In my opinion, no one cooks ox tongue like the Laos do, and I eat this dish by the plateful here. The ox-tongue pieces are thick, and served with a tangy fish sauce and chili dip.
The four dishes were more than enough to satiate our appetites, and we left feeling satisfied and content. All in all, Lao Village is one of my favourite Laos restaurants to eat at and I’ve never left feeling disappointed.
Address: 29 Dale Street, Fairfield