If your tummy starts to rumble at the thought of spicy rice with tender, falling-off-the-bone meat, rich coconut curries, or a cool mango lassi on a hot Vientiane day, you're in luck. There's a new (Indian) kid on the block - Flavours and Spices.
Flavours & Spices opened in late 2016 and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It occupies the ground floor of this 2-storey building with cool indoor seating, a great escape on a hot, humid day. Which of course, is almost every day in Vientiane!
I just love the green walls on either side of the entrance - a few hundred little pots. What a fabulous idea.
Inside, the decor is simple - polished, caramel wooden tables and chairs offset the grey back wall with the striking Flavours & Spices logo at its centre.
Natural light pours in from the front windows while the ceiling lights cast a clean yellow sheen on the walls. Simple brown prints adorn the walls, ingredients "Cardamom", "Cinnamon" etc, and their definitions.
The menu follows the grey and yellow branding and is full of enticing, authentic Indian cuisine. There's a generous vegetarian section and even the south Indian staple, dosai, a crisp, wrapped pancake enclosing a curry filling.
Flavours & Spices makes for a great neighbourhood lunch spot; I headed there with a friend and we ordered up big. We had the signature claypot fish curry, mutton biryani, chicken tikka masala, parathas (Indian bread), brinjal (eggplant), and the long beans (which ironically were chopped into tiny pieces).
The food was delicious - the meat tender, the curries full of flavour and spice without being overpowered by chilli, the vegetables fresh and not over-saturated with oil, and the parathas light and fluffy. We both ate long after we were full - the sign of a good meal!
But if you need your curry in hurry, they do express vegetarian lunches too. Five fabulous mini curries, rice, papadums and parathas for 39,000 kip. Such great value!
Flavours & Spices is on Sokpaluang Road near the turn off to VIS and Panyathip kindergarten. It's open from 10am-10pm daily. Street parking only.