This place will definitely be my next hangout after the amazing food this evening. My mouth is still tingling from the explosion of flavours!
HangOut is a new and exciting restaurant serving mainly modern Lao food but also a range of international dishes. The restaurant is directly opposite the Lao Golden Hotel, Phonsinuan Village, Sisattanak, with plenty of parking.
I immediately received a warm welcome from Sack, the front of house captain and his team, both in Lao and English, and what I noticed immediately was the relaxed atmosphere and stylish surroundings. The restaurant was full of couples and groups of friends, all of whom had made an effort to dress. This is not the kind of place I would wear shorts and a t-shirt to. There was music being played in the background at the perfect level to allow people to talk to each other. Sack informed me that they will start playing live music over the next few weeks, I hope it’s not too loud!
The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The indoor seating is very light and airy with huge windows allowing lots of light. The inside is very modern with concrete walls and stylish furniture. I was hoping the food matched the restaurant.
A Lengthy Menu
When I was first given the menu I was confused, as there are 182 items on the menu! I did not know where to start. Even though the HangOut menu is in Lao and English and full of photos to show you what you are ordering, there are just too many items to go through when you are hungry. I asked Sack for a recommendation and he recommended the ‘Spicy Salad’, I also ordered four other Lao dishes and a couple of large beers.
As per most restaurants in Lao the dishes came out as they were available but the service was quick and efficient. The first dish to come out was the recommended spicy salad. Served on a modern plate there were three separate small towers of salad. All were slightly different salads, with different dressings, and topped with different seafood. One was shrimp, one was salmon, and one was squid, all served raw and finely chopped. Each salad tower was very different in terms of the herbs and spices running through it and all were very fresh and vibrant with a good chilli heat running through them. For some people this dish might contain too much chilli so just ask for less when ordering. My mouth is still tingling slightly in a good way.
Other favourites of mine on the evening were the duck breast salad, and the deep fried spicy and sour pork balls. The pork balls were a similar taste to pork laap, but made into bite sized balls, and deep fried. I could have eaten these all night!
My least favourite dish was the Black Sea Crab with yellow curry. The yellow curry was lovely in flavor and the vegetables within it were fresh, and crispy. I was however disappointed at the lack of crab. Some of the crab had been put into the dish but when you cook crab within a curry it falls apart too much. The dish was served with the legs and claws of the crab for me to take the shell off and eat but there is little crab within them for the work required to take the shell off. It would have been nice to have been given a finger bowl to rinse my fingers afterwards. I would order this dish again but with soft shell crab.
Throughout the evening ‘Souk’ and ‘Porn,’ two of the waitresses, kept the glasses full, and the table immaculate. Plates were removed as soon as they were finished with; ຕhe service was faultless all evening.
Come and HangOut Here Next time
I would certainly recommend HangOut if you are looking for somewhere that does modern Lao food that is not too expensive. The five dishes and two large beers cost 237,000LAK which did include an expensive crab dish. The amount ordered would have easily served 3 people. For what I ordered, considering the quality of produce, and the care taken in preparing the dishes, I thought it was good value for money. They also do a special lunch menu with single person dishes from 23,000LAK.
I look forward to trying more dishes on my next visit to the HangOut. See the HangOut Facebook page here.