I have to confess that our trip to Laos was bland because it was raining all day, so we chose to hide inside coffee shops where we could work peacefully on rainy days.
Our regular lunch at the coffee shop was always quick and finished right by the table–sounds boring, right? So, after we ate simple, Western-style food for two, three days, we couldn’t stand it any longer. So we fled, seeking something new, something savory, something yummy.
We took a walk in the rain and spotted a unique style of cafe/restaurant that stood out from other buildings. The place is “Day 2night Café” – it is like a modern art-box in a shipping container, located on the same alley and only a few meters from the coffee shop where we worked.
The food and recipes are customized by the owner of the restaurant, a kitchen wonder who loves to cook Vietnamese food for her family. She trained her staff to make the best Vietnamese food in Vientiane. Here are my favorite Vietnamese dishes at Day2Night Café that I’d like to recommend:
Banh Beo (Bánh bèo)
When you’re craving anything that’ll stick to your ribs, try these steamed rice flour cakes topped with dry pork or shrimp. The cakes are delicate and slightly chewy, while their savory flavor is owed to the mashed mung bean but there is a powerful crunch when you bit into the dried shrimp or pork (your choice!) in the center.
Banh Bo Lo (Bánh bột lọc)
The steamed crystal wonton filled with shrimped, pork, and mushrooms served with sweet sauce. It’s surprising to see Banh Bo Loc from the outside because it looks like a mussel inside a clear cake! But, it’s not. The mushrooms’ color darkens the wontons and contributes to the chewy texture. I can’t wait to bite into it right after it is served when it is piping hot, but it still tastes marvelous at room temperature.
Braised pork with rice
This is another “salty” version of a Thai classic, “Eggs and pork in a sweet brown sauce”. It is served with a cup of piping hot jasmine rice and doesn’t forget to try the passion fruit smoothie!
The restaurant’s theme is “Vietnamese” but it also serves brunch and spaghetti dishes. Like its name “Day2Night”, the café’ serves coffee in the day time and cocktails in the evening as well.
Day 2night Café is located on “Rue Chao Anou” road, opposite the Lao Orchid Hotel, Vientiane, Laos