Update January 2018 - The Bowl is an example of taking a simple, popular concept and (inexplicably) changing into a conventional, run-of-the-mill one. The Bowl is now part of the bigger Kobe Japanese Restaurant, housed in the same space. It's still good food but is no longer a quick, easy lunch spot. Too bad.
The Bowl combines two things I love - Japanese food and simplicity.
It only opened in late 2016 but the Bowl has already made a name for itself for quick, tasty, Japanese homemade-style food. In a bowl.
The menu is short and to the point - a rarity in Vientiane where most menus stretch on for pages. At The Bowl you can read it all on a blackboard. There's rice-based dishes and udon noodle (soup) dishes, and a few added extras, like tempura and teriyaki appetizers, deep fried chicken, and seaweed salad. Plus beer and sake if you're feeling uninhibited.
There's also side dishes like the popular Japanese streetfood (and my favourite), takoyaki (octopus).
"Upsize" to a combo meal (45,000) and get a side salad, and free miso or drink. It's great lunch value.
An added bonus is that there's off-street parking. However, customers will soon have to share their parking perks with the Korean steakhouse next door.
The Bowl is a particular favourite with falang office workers and the weekend lunch crowd so go early - the handful of tables can fill up fast.
Food this good waits for no one!
The Bowl is on 103 (Rue Lao-Thai) around the corner from Kettisack school and almost opposite Phonesili minimart. It's open daily from 11am-9pm, and does take away too.