A new Laotian takeout/delivery restaurant opened in Austin over the summer. Ahhan Lao Kitchen debuted within ghost kitchen hub 5610 Food Co. in August at 5610 North I-35 in the North Loop neighborhood.
Chef Bambu wanted to open his own Laotian food business in Austin because, as he writes to Eater over email, “I felt there were not too many authentic Laos-style restaurants” in the city, and the local restaurants/trucks that do exist had too many modern and/or Westernized touches, which he didn’t want to do. “I wanted to really bring our culture out without a remix,” he adds.
This means lots of dishes that would be featured at Laotian home meals and events. This means sai oua (pork sausage), seen savan (beef jerky, made using his family’s recipe), kua mee (fried thin soy noodles served with bean sprouts, scallions, shredded eggs, and meat), Fridays and Saturdays-only sakoo yat sai (tapioca dumplings) that are filled with pork, peanuts, and radishes atop lettuce and dried chilies, among other items. Dishes can be made very, very spicy — “Like the Laotians would say, ‘Boh phet boh sapp,’ ‘not spicy, not good,’” Bambu explains. Dessert includes khao la song (sweet coconut milk with pandan jellies).
Bambu was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he learned how to cook from his grandmother and the family restaurant. He moved to Austin in late 2021, and opened the takeout-and-delivery-only restaurant this past month.
Eventually, Bambu wants to eventually open a physical restaurant “where our customers will have a nice feel for our culture and the taste of authentic Lao cuisines.”
Ahhan Lao Kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online.