Part of the Martins Plaza Shopping Centre in Parafield Gardens, Lao Kitchen not only offers delicious Lao cuisine but also a decent selection of Thai and Chinese dishes as well. The place proved to be quite popular with the locals with many of its customers opting to order their dishes for takeaway.
As the place is called Lao Kitchen, we opted to try the Lao dishes. The pieces of steak in their Crying Tiger dish was quite tender and the chilli in the dressing gave it the spiciness well deserving of its name. In addition to slices of red onion to add some crunch, the dish came with some shredded carrots to provide relief from the spicy steak.
The Pla Samoon Phai featured fish that was cooked just right with flesh set off nicely by the crisp batter. While it may not look like it, there was sufficient sweet and sour dressing to give the fish a bit of tang. The inclusion of mint gave a delightful refreshing taste to the dish and a topping of peanuts added a bit of crunch.
Pla Samoon Phai (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Lao Kitchen's Papaya Salad had a generous quantity of papaya, which was a key part of making it an enjoyable dish. This dish can be ordered in various degrees of spiciness but diners unsure about their tolerance to spicy foods are advised to order it mild. Also included in the dish were slices of tomato and cabbage on the side to balance out the spiciness. A more "deluxe" version of the dish known as Tum Thard is also available. This version includes dried beef, grilled chicken, boiled egg and rice noodles served with the papaya salad in a manner similar to a tapas plate. The Tum Thard also comes with sticky rice that can be enjoyed with the salad.
Tum Thard (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Sticky Rice (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Papaya Salad (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
A good choice for those not used to spicy dishes, Lao's Gai Yaang (Grilled Chicken) had pieces of juicy chicken, which had a distinctive flavour coming from the lemongrass and turmeric it was marinated in before being cooked. Accompanying the chicken was a small salad of lettuce and cucumber to balance out the rich taste of the chicken.
Gai Yaang (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Sufficient to be shared, the chicken we chose for the Kaeng Dang Curry (Thai Red Curry) was cooked to perfection and the vegetables had the right amount of bite to it. The curry gravy also had sufficient spice to lift the flavour of ingredients but was still mild enough to be enjoyed like a soup. Beef and a vegetarian option are alternative choices for those not in the mood for chicken.
Kaeng Dang Curry (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
While the restaurant seemed to get most of its business from takeaway orders, it still had a comfortable and casual feel for those that decide to dine-in. Parking is off little issue with Martin Plaza's carpark offering an ample amount of off-street parking.