Reflections on Stripmall Eating

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Big Champin'

Name: Champa Laos
Location: 219 Haddonfield Berlin Road, Cherry Hill, NJ
Personnel: Rachel, Me
What We Ate: Mang Sa Vi Raj (Vegetarian Appetizer Plate With Corncakes, Spring Rolls, Fried Tofu; Two Kinds of Vegetable Dumplings and Cabbage Salad); Aom Laos With Chicken; Sticky Rice; Wild Ginger Tofu; Coconut Jasmine Rice; Tea
Condiments: Chili Sauce; Fish Sauce; Sweet and Sour Sauce
Bill Total: $50
Observations: The owners of the excellent Cafe de Laos on 11th Street have now opened a suburban outpost in the Centrum Shoppes strip in Cherry Hill. Like Cafe de Laos, Champa Laos is beautifully decorated with vibrant colors and gold stenciled walls. The menu is a similar mix of Thai and Lao specialties, but if memory serves, some of the offerings are different. Either way, you can't really go wrong here: A vegetarian Thai style appetizer sampler is a great start, with delicate spring rolls, ginger-inflected corn cakes and blocks of golden fried tofu. These crisp, oily treats are nicely balanced with a shredded cabbage salad dressed in chili and lime. I loved the light, tangy broth of the Aom Laos curry, with its herby scent of lemongrass and dill. The accompanying sticky rice came in a traditional bamboo basket which, when you're done sopping up sauce with the rice, could double as a cute little purse. The service is friendly, too. A word of advice, though: If you plan to go to this restaurant, don't Mapquest it.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Your food photos are so gorgeous! They made my mouth water.