As much as we miss Bowmans/Next Door, the fresh tastes and interior fit-out of Bolaven is welcomed with wide, open arms by the Mt Eden locals and Auckland foodies in general. The restaurant's name is derived from the place where coffee plants were first sown by the French, and to live up to the expectations of coffee snobs everywhere, they do Eight-Thirty coffee. Insert sighs of bliss. With Loas-inspired uniforms designed by Matt Nash Studios and a homely but elegant fit-out by Bespoke Design, you can be sure that the menu is designed just as attentively (read: we were weeping with glee). You can find the classic flavours of South-East Asian cuisine (sticky rice, lemon grass, star anise) infused with Western favourites (brioche french toast, bagels, bubble & squeak); then there's the Laotian soup dishes like the pho and kaow thom: authentic and fragrant, with a selection of spices and condiments for you to add and tweak. What can we say? The owners can be “Lao and proud” of this little venture - we can't wait to hear/eat more, way more.
Louise had grandpa's beef pho and a green smoothie. She said 'Loved the new look, loved the lampshades, loved the pho. Only problem was that I couldn't fit it all in – very generous sizes!'
Innie had grandpa's beef pho and a latte. She said ' Nice Vietnamese in a western cafe.'
Katie had the kaow thom rice soup, chicken broth, pulled chicken, ginger, corn & poached egg. She said 'ooo Laotian cuisine! Insert Masterchef reference here?'
Mel had the yellow seafood curry with sticky rice and a karma cola. She said 'Gorgeous flavours, trendy vibe.'
Joe had the Laotian cured salmon bagel and a smoothie. He said 'Cool décor and to see a new Laotian joint on the scene.'
Annie had the vegetable grandpa's pho and a banana & berry smoothie. She said 'Loved it! Good food, great service, nice outlook.'