Friday, October 20, 2006

Vanlang Cuisine

Vanlang Cuisine
3600 South University Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 501-570-7700

Okay, we cheated this week. Instead of going to a new restaurant we haven’t tried before, we actually went to an old favorite. So, if you are only here in the chance that you might get to read witty snide comments about how awful a place can be, move on because I could have told you before we went today that this was going to be a good review. A slam dunk if you will.

I love Southeast Asian food. Thai and Viet Namese are wonderful cuisines. We have two excellent restaurants here in Little Rock. Saigon and Vanlang.

Today I had the beef curry. At Vanlang this consists of a large bowl of very red soup with chunks of onion, potato, carrot and beef topped with a sprig of cilantro. It comes with a loaf of French bread. This is a hearty and wholesome combination. The blend of Asian curry spices doesn’t hit you with its full force until well in the back of your throat. This causes a pleasant warmth that radiates up from your stomach and makes your entire chest fell like it’s glowing.

As a side, we ordered spring rolls that we topped with the peanut sauce and hot red pepper sauce. I’ve always said that you can tell a good Asian restaurant because they always have Sriracha sauce.

Other things I highly recommend at Vanlang:

Lemon Grass Chicken. Spicy, aromatic and a distinct citrus flavor. If you can stand the heat, this is one of the best dishes there.

Crispy Noodle with Shrimp. For the less adventurous, this is a mild dish that features a huge tangle of crispy fried noodles. Looks much like a bird’s nest with vegetables, shrimp and a succulent sauce. Warning, this is addictive and you will find yourself ordering it regularly.

Ca Sot Ca. This is the deep fried tilapia fish that is distinct to Southeast Asian cuisine in its preparation. No breading or coatings, the fish is whole and fried until crisp all the way through. Then, a salsa of chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro and peppers is slathered on it. Great flavor and presentation ,though my daughter asked me to put a piece of lettuce over the fish’s face so he wouldn’t look at her…

Spring Rolls. Wrapped in a translucent rice paper, shredded lettuce, mint, cilantro, shrimp and sometimes crab. Served with a bowl of peanut sauce and a bowl of red chili sauce.

There are too many great dishes to recommend them all, go and go often to try them all. They are closed on Tuesdays. Pricing is moderate, you can get out of there for less than twelve dollars.


At 7:11 AM , Blogger Michael Warshauer said...

Of all the things we enjoyed in Little Rock, we miss Van Lang Cuisine more than anything else.
I have devoted a web gallery to it at

Best wishes, and good eating,
Mike Warshauer


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