Found at the Waldorf Astoria, Lao is a Vietnamese restaurant which takes its inspiration from the first millennium tribe that settled across Southeast Asia.
The restaurant’s dining room is framed by large windows which let in plenty of natural light in the day and offer up a charming view of Dubai’s glittering skyline come evening. Otherwise, the room is finished off with dark wood tables and chairs, intricately carved wooden screens which divide the different areas of the restaurant and eye-catching artworks which line the walls.
Lao also benefits from an alfresco dining area which overlooks the hotel’s central gardens. On the menu, you can expect to find a selection of traditional Vietnamese cuisine which has been designed by chef de cuisine Mai. The menu blends traditional cooking techniques with contemporary presentation, with highlights including prawn red curry, grilled whole seabass and duck breast which is marinated in five different spices.
There are a selection of sweet treats to choose from at the end of your meal, with tempting dessert options including molten chocolate cake served with a scoop of green tea ice cream, grilled banana with coconut ice cream and pecan nuts, and mango sticky rice topped with coconut milk.
If you want to eliminate the burden of choice, we’d recommend opting for Lao’s signature ‘taste of Saigon’ menu, which features authentic Vietnamese delicacies such as broken rice with beef short ribs and Vietnamese rice paper salad. Lao also accommodates for those who don’t eat meat with its dedicated vegan menu, something that’s difficult to come by in Dubai. Dishes from the vegan menu include tofu and aubergine in a tomato sauce, and fried vegetable rolls.
It’s not just about the dining experience at Lao though, as you can also partake in a bespoke cooking class at the restaurant. The class begins with picking fresh herbs from Lao’s garden, which will then be used to help create traditional Vietnamese dishes, including the likes of pho and Vietnamese rolls.