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“Disappointed :(”
Review of Le Silapa - CLOSED

Le Silapa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$50
Cuisines: French, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Le Silapa Restaurant has been serving high quality food since 1999.Opened everyday from 11am to 11pm
Reviewed 27 July 2013

We went to dinner at Le Silpa with high expectations, partly from good reviews on TA and partly from an attractive advertising spread in one of the local magazines.

Initial impressions were good. The dining room is large but nicely set up, the tables well spaced, with linen table cloths and napkins. The maitre d'/manager ( a French Canadian) was friendly, although he surprised us somewhat by announcing that everything on the menu was available - which suggests that this isn't usually the case.

First came a complimentary tapenade which was OK. My starter of Pate de foi gras was excellent, a cylinder of fine pate accompanied by a small piece of very tasty foi gras on toast. At 170,000 kip it is more than twice the price of the other starters, but worth it. Unfortunately my partner's starter was undistinguished, with about half a dozen small and fairly tasteless prawns swimming with some shredded 'veggies' (as described on the menu!) in a saffron curry sauce.

From there things went downhill. My main came in a casserole dish and consisted of a goodly number of large but fairly tasteless scallops and diced vegetables, drowned in a vanilla cream broth. My partner's Canadian black cod was poor, the small beetroot mesh and other flourishes on the plate not disguising a tasteless piece of fish. We are guessing that the seafood had all been frozen - pity they are not required to declare this on the menu as is the case in some other countries.

We didn't bother with dessert. The total price for two starters, two mains and three glasses of wine was around 760,000 kip (over A$100).

The wine list is fairly extensive and expensive, in keeping with most restaurants in Asia. There are a few acceptable wines by the glass at about 55,000 kip/200 ml glass.

We were disappointed with our meal. That there was only one other couple (also tourists) in the restaurant at 8pm on a Friday night suggests that all is not well with the restaurant. There is no website, and the dinner menu on the Facebook page is several months out of date. The Facebook page seems to be focussed mainly on advising people about the fixed price lunch specials which change regularly.

Perhaps we were wrong to ignore our second rule of restaurant eating (" don't order seafood in a landlocked country"). (The first is "don't eat anywhere that revolves".) However, if the chef is putting these dishes on the menu he or she should be confident in the quality of the produce they are using. Moreover, the meat dishes were largely sourced from Australia and NZ, which we don't need to travel to enjoy.

Perhaps a better starting point for La Silpa would be not "what should be on a French restaurant menu" but rather "what is the best produce we can source here, and how can we best cook it in a manner keeping with fine French cuisine". That approach can certainly produce some wonderful results (I still have fond memories from many years ago of a Nga Trang lobster in fresh vanilla bean sauce in the Metropole Hanoi).

For the moment however La Silpa cannot be recommended

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    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
2  Thank ctrunfree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (170)
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84 - 88 of 170 reviews

Reviewed 13 June 2013 via mobile

This has always been a nice restaurant in Vientiane so took the opportunity to visit the new place (old location was closed) when I came on R&R.

Le Silapa is on the 2nd Floor while I-Beam is on the 1st. Same quality of food at Le Silapa which was great even with a different chef. Set menus for lunch still at LAK100,000 - still good value for money. Service still quite good. Wine selection nice. Ambiance is a bit different as the restaurant is perhaps twice as big as the previous place.

I-Beam features a buffet lunch for 50,000 - but my wife wanted Le Silapa. Will try I-Beam next time.

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1  Thank the_lao_viajero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2013

I am in Laos for a week, i tried to visit Le Silapa one week ago but it waa still closed for the Lao New Year. It has moved since my last visit, only recently i notice. Being a cheap charlie backpacker i went for the buffet lunch which costs only 50k kip, a bargain really. Previously Le Silapa had a cheap lunch menu, which was fabulous for the price.

Now there is a small buffet kept warm by a steaming bain marie. There were soup, crudités, chicken in sauce as main course and a small madeleine cake for dessert acompanied by flavoured home made bread and iced water. Yes of course it was a great bargain and it is a long time since I have been treated by attentive waiter service offering refills of delicious bread and the iced water which was very very welcome after the searing heat of the Laotian summer.

You eat in the downstairs bistro, there were not many people eating the buffet.
The soup was very good, the crudités too in a pleasant dressing. But the main course was poor and tasteless I have to say, i was disappointed with it despite the bargain price and the great service. It seemed to consist of tasteless chicken (frozen) in a tasteless sauce accompanied by saffron rice that did have a taste - disenfectant. Obvious the restaurant have to cut corners on this cheap menu, being one of the top french restaurants in the city, but cutting flavours was still a shock.
Of course the a la carte food would have been superb, i imagine, i am reviewing the buffet lunch. I had an expresso coffee for a treat 20k kip, which was good accompanied by an elephant shaped chocolate in the land of the million elephants.
Bit disappointing, but still came away a little happy with the soup and service and decor.

1  Thank BackyPacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2013

In the past I have enjoyed food at this restaurant, so I returned there. The restaurant was closed and the place was all empty. I suppose this business stopped... Can somebody please confirm this?

2  Thank PatrickLeuven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Le_Silapa, Manager at Le Silapa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2013

Dear Patrick,

Thank you for your review.
We haven't update the page on tripadvisor for a while, the restaurant Le Silapa has been moved on top of I-Beam Bar since December 2012 (in front of Vat Ongteu)
We are still open with a new decoration and new concept, but the food is still the same with the same chef.

For more information you can take a look on our facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/LeSilapaVientiane.


Yvonne Anousone OUTHABONG
Manager of the restaurant Le Silapa.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2013

Our first night in Laos needed a special meal, and Le Silapa delivered. Finely prepared food a la Francais, good wine, and a chocolate dessert to kill for; all served properly in an elegant modernist room. We thought we received excellent value for money.

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Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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