Khegs Restaurant, Vientiane

I found this restaurant quite by accident. Which isn't really a difficult thing to do in Vientiane; a city with no addresses but lots of interesting little alleyways that twist off the main roads.

Xairung and I were cruising around near the World Vision office looking for a little Lao restaurant that used to be around there. It was famous for its phat kii mao - hot basil stirfy with egg noodles. Then we found this.

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But there was no sign of a restaurant as such, so we turned the motorbike round to leave when a woman appeared and gestured further down the lane. So we came back, turned down the corner, and there it was. The gingerbread house. 

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I have to wonder if its hidden location spurred the vibrant paint job. But Kheg says he just likes bright colours and thinks that there's not enough restaurants in Vientiane embracing colour. So he did.

I couldn't agree more. It's so much more enjoyable eating in such a cheerful environment.

Kheg opened this restaurant late last year with his cousin, who also helps in the kitchen. All the dishes are Lao-Thai and are simple, fresh and tasty. Xairung promptly ordered the famous phat kii mao and confirmed that it's still up to the mark. The Luang Prabang fried rice was also a favourite with me.

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All the dishes cost 17,000-20,000 kip ($3-4) and together with a fruit shake - I wanted to take the glasses home - at 10,000 each, it makes for great lunchtime value.

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Kheg has plans to open in the evenings too but for now he's just serving a busy and appreciative lunchtime crowd.

The man himself in the kitchen

The man himself in the kitchen

On the way out I spotted the fish pond, full of fat goldfish. A few fluffy dogs lolled in the sun out the front. My kids would love this place. It's a keeper. 

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Khegs Restaurant is on Nongbone Road just past World Vision on the right. Opposite the petrol station is a 3-storey glass fronted building next to a narrow, pale green painted lane. Go down this lane and turn left. Parking is available.