Hunting Vientiane Noodles


There are hundreds of noodle soups in Vientiane, and Vientiane Times contributor, Souknilundon Southivongnorath, has pinpointed some winners to help noodle hunters find the best soup in town.

Souknilundon said eating noodles for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late snack after a night out is common among Lao people.

“Most eateries serve only noodles, soup and different meats and fresh vegetables with condiments such as chilli, fish, and soy sauce, along with sugar, vinegar, and sour fermented chilli for diners wishing to add a spicy, sour, salty or sweet taste.”

What makes a noodle shop distinct is the way they prepare the soup, meats, noodle and oily chilli paste.

Souknilundon points out that most of the noodle soup recipes in Laos come from China and Vietnam, but the taste and preparation has changed due to local demands and the use of local ingredients.

“There are three kinds of popular noodle soups, including sticky Vietnamese rice noodle Phu, Chinese egg noodles called Mee or Mian, and Vietnamese white noodles named Khaopiaksen or Banh Canh.

“Laos also has a noodle soup called Khaopoun (rice vermicelli) which is totally different from the other noodles, and is usually made by hand. It is usually served with boiled minced or fermented fish.”

According to a Vientiane Times survey, some of the most popular noodle soup outlets in Vientiane are run by Lao-Vietnamese or Lao-Chinese people, with the cooking done by families. Lao people have also learned to make noodles over the years.

The Khao Piak Maekai shop is well known among locals, who pack the place throughout the day to eat white noodle soup with natural fighting chicken. The restaurant is located in front of the Vientiane Administration Office on Nongbone Road in Naxay Village, Chanthabouly District.

Souknilundon suggests Pho Xan Her restaurant for pho or sticky rice noodle soup. It is frequented by Korean residents for its incredible fresh beef and braised beef with special herb soup. Pho Xan Her is located in front of the Agriculture Bank on Phen Boun Road in Haixok Village, Chanthabouly District.

“For Mee or egg noodle soup, one should head for That Dam Noodle or Mee Tang Song, hidden in the area near That Dam stupa. It is popular among Chinese and Singapore nationals, who usually visit for breakfast and lunch,” Souknilundon said. The shop is located on Chanthakounmane Road in Xiengnheun Village, Chanthabouly District.

Source: Vientiane Times

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