Review: Lao Village (Fairfield)

A few Sundays ago, when my sister and I went to Tierras Latinas in Fairfield to buy Peruvian ingredients, we decided to have lunch in the area. I checked my Sydney Eats 2008 guide, and there were a few Thai/Lao options around, two of them on Anzac Ave: Lao Village and Song Fang Khong. We checked them out from the outside and chose Lao Village because it was a bit more inviting, the other one looked like a house with closed curtains.

It looked like the typical cheap Asian restaurant, with boxes of tissues instead of serviettes on the table. I wanted to order something different, so I chose the marinated grilled ox tongue, plus steamed rice. Gladys was a bit more conservative (or should I say cautious?) and ordered a vermicelli salad with beef. The food arrived quickly, but we were disappointed by the size of the plates. We were served a complimentary salad (iceberg lettuce, cabbage and mint leaves) and no water.

Salad

Gladys’ salad was so small that she ended up eating some of my ox tongue, which she actually liked, and rice. The salad was ok, even when I’m not sure what part of the cow were that chunks of beef from, and certainly overpriced ($8).

Vermicelli salad with beef

The ox tongue was alright in flavour and chewy as expected. The sweet and slightly hot sauce it came with was nice, too. The rice was… well, plain rice.

Steamed rice

Marinated grilled ox tongue

The bill came with an extra $1 split between the salad and the rice, which after showing the correct prices in the menu to the waitress was removed from the total. Gladys had a glimpse at the kitchen when discussing the issue with the waitress and told me that it was good we didn’t see it before eating.

I don’t think I’ll be going back to that restaurant, even if I find myself starving in Fairfield again. I know this restaurant is a favourite among connoisseurs, but it did leave me with a bad first impression.

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