A calm and soothing restaurant that feeds the stomach and relaxes the soul
Situated evenly between bustling Xa Lo Ha Noi and Xuan Thuy Streets is the serene oasis of Laang Restaurant (22 Dang Huu Pho, Thao Dien, D2; www.laangsaigon.com). Its location perfectly echoes the meaning of its name, an interpretation of the Vietnamese word, “lǎng yên,” or calm among chaos. Recently opened as part of the culinary powerhouse Quan Bui Group, Laang offers Asian style flavors from locally-sourced ingredients, as well as a wide array of coffees and cocktails. Inside, the decor is soothing shades of blue and green with wooden accents and gentle lighting. Orchids, potted plants and wired hanging lamps fill the space with a spa-like presence. Outside is a large patio with a koi pond, herb garden and decorative bells calling for relaxation.
After meandering over stone steps that hover above a small pond and entering through a heavy, nut brown door, we are seated next to the large window overlooking a fountain. Immediately pouring over the extensive menu and unable to make just one decision, we begin with the mixed starter of wraps and rolls (VND229,000). Out came the start of our feast, sitting on a teal plate in a circular fashion and offering sizable portions of each option. We fed on crunchy fresh spring rolls made with avocado, chicken, cucumber and carrot; crispy fried spring rolls stuffed with scallop and chicken, fish patties fried in rice paper coating, and betel leaves with fried squid and prawn. In the center of the plate sits a light prawn salad made with coconut palm that melds well with the fuller flavors of the rolls. As the vegetables are local and based on what is available, many of the dishes come in slight variations or have flexible ingredients. This allows customers to sample on only the freshest of foods and try new takes on their usual favorites.
We follow up the appetizers with fried duck breast with ginger fish sauce (VND199,000) and a side of fiber melon and gourd loofah (VND79,000). The duck is cooked perfectly, with crispy edges and tender, savory meat. The plate is long enough to extend half the length of the table, and was layered from end to end with duck breast. The ginger fish sauce is just sweet and acidic enough to cut through the rich flavors of the meat. Our side of vegetables, while simple, may have been the dark horse of the dining experience. The melon and gourd are cooked lightly in oil and topped with large cloves of roasted garlic.
This is followed up with the decadent dish of fried prawns with mango-mayo sauce (VND229,000) which is as rich and flavorful as it sounds. Tasting of creamy pasta without even needing the carbs, it is an almost dessert-like treat to eat. The fruity flavor of the mango flirts coyly with the heaviness of the mayo, making for an exciting pairing that one wouldn’t expect. We follow up our phenomenal lunch with iced lattes (VND55,000) and a well deserved siesta.
Seeking to bring respite to the hectic energy of city life, Laang Restaurant offers a menu with a wide variety of options including rolls, soups, seafood and meat courses, and an extensive vegetarian selection. With soft piano music playing and the aroma of fresh, flavorful food wafting through the air, diners feel instantly at ease in the chic yet zen space. Reaching two stories and hosting several large open, airy spaces, Laang is an excellent location for dates, family dinners, and also for hosting large events. Located at, Laang succeeds in giving customers calm among the chaos.
Images Provided by Laang Restaurant