Noodle House by Lao-Luangprabang, Melbourne CBD

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MELBOURNE | The north end of Elizabeth Street is known for its assortment of quality, affordable Asian eats. Restaurants specialising in cuisines from all over the region, in particular South East Asia, provide plenty of choice for hungry diners looking for things both familiar and unfamiliar. One that’s not so easy to find, but well worth seeing out, is Noodle House by Lao-Luangprabang.

Hidden up two flights of unassuming stairs across the road from Queen Victoria Market, you’ll find a light filled, airy space with a semi-open kitchen and a long window bench overlooking Elizabeth Street. A chalkboard with comments from happy customers and a few Laotian pop culture posters complete the look.

As the name suggests, the focus here is on noodle bowls from Laos, Half Australian, one quarter Laotian, and one quarter Vietnamese owner James Roach opened Noodle House after moving to Melbourne for university and realising that nobody was cooking the food he grew up with and loved. Armed with a love of cooking, childhood memories, and his mum’s advice and recipes, James came up with a selection of dishes that have attracted a lot of fans over the past two years.

Laotian food is both familiar and unfamiliar. It’s geography and history has influenced its food which contains elements found in the food of China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Think strong, fragrant flavours, fresh herbs, and spice.

Khao piak sen is the signature dish here. It consists of a light and fragrant chicken broth with coriander roots, tender chicken and chicken meatballs, crunchy bean sprouts, fried shallots, and springy house made noodles made from rice and tapioca flour. It’s delicious, and can be made as hot as you like by adding your desired level of the house made hot sauce. Another highlight is the khao poon nam seen. The curry based beef broth has a strong flavour with chunks of galangal, shallots, bamboo shoots, cherry tomatoes, chilli and shrimp paste. The slow cooked beef brisket is wonderfully tender, and there’s a decent amount of it in the bowl along with rice vermicelli noodles.

For a side the crispy fried pork and mushroom wontons served simply with sweet chilli sauce are a delight. For drinks it’s a small selection of beer, tea, and soft drinks. The pink milk tea and butterfly pea lemonade are both worth trying, but do be warned that they are quite sweet – you may want to water them down to take the sweetness down a notch like we do.

There’s not much around for those looking for Laotian food in Melbourne, but after eating at Noodle House by Lao-Luangprabang you’ll definitely be keen to discover more about the cuisine. Perhaps a trip to Laos is in order?

Noodle House by Lao-Luangprabang

L2, 500 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9639 2245
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Mon – Sun: 11:30am to 9:30am

Noodle House by Lao-Luangprabang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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