Cambodia trip Part 2 of 3
To read part 1 of 3, please click here: Phnom Penh
We stuck to our resolve that we will eat only local food in siem reap. Our tour guide Sayung (+855 89 809 908) was super enthusiastic & took our food mission very seriously. He actually was constantly thinking of how to give us new & different food experiences, in addition to a great tour of this historic place.
Marum restaurant – the evening we reached, we went to a restaurant run by an NGO who works with marginalised young people since last 15 years.
This restaurant had a cafe kind of feel. It had a shop where they were selling handicrafts sourced by the NGO.
We tried Stir fried red tree ants with beef, kaffir lime & chilly. We have had red ants earlier at Assamese tribal food pop ups by gitika saikia in mumbai. In gitika’s good the flavour of ant was distinct. At marum, the ants could be felt while we ate but they did not add a distinct flavour to the dish. Kaffir lime added the nice flavour. Beef pieces were soft & nice. The sauce was watery in texture & strong in flavour.
Stir fried prawns with mango & cashewnuts was very good to taste.
Fish soup with tamarind had a lovely thin, soupy, tangy, flavourful gravy in which flavours of fish had got incorporated. The fish pieces were good but did not really add value – they had donated their zing to the gravy already.
Sin sisamuth drink was very tangy & refreshing. The name of the drink made us read about Sin sisamuth on google – he was a singer who was a Cambodian legend. He was killed in 1976 during the Khmer Rouge (pol pot’s regime).
Sweet sticky red rice with mango was there for dessert. The ripe mango was very bland – probably out of season. Minimal flavour, almost flat taste. No comparison to a good hapus or langra mango that we have in india during summers. The sweet sticky red rice was good to taste.
The heritage hotel
We stayed at the heritage hotel in siem reap, arranged by Veena World. It was a nice hotel with super warm, attentive & prompt staff. We were assigned a person named Sopheak, who was constantly in touch with us on WhatsApp for anything we needed, including proactively booking dinners for us in the restaurants that we wanted to go, arranging tuk tuks, telling us about the local area, people, food etc. super loved the stay.
We ate Breakfast here everyday – they gave us a menu to choose from & we cud order anything as many times as we wanted. We ate the following dishes that were very good. We also had fresh fruit platters, muesli , coffee etc along with this.
Khmer noodle soup with shrimp – this had excellent flavourful broth, fresh shrimps & loads of veggies in it.
Cambodian fried rice with chicken had distinct meaty flavour infused in the perfectly cooked rice.
Steamed pumpkin stuffed with coconut custard was a super interesting dish – a common Cambodian dessert. Coconut custard set inside a pumpkin & then slices of the pumpkin are served …. with the skin still intact. Very refreshingly different & enjoyable.
Sticky rice dessert with sesame & palm sugar was similar to what we had had at marum, but different & better. Loved it.
Palm nectar at Angkor wat temple complex
We got the chance to drink Palm juice that drips in the morning from the sap of palm tree, inside Angkor wat temple campus. The set up was traditional – the juice was dripping into hollow bamboo glasses & getting collected at the bottom. Loved the taste of this.
If consumed in the morning, it is a juice. As the day progresses, fermentation starts & by midday the juice turns into toddy (alcoholic drink).
Krousar khmer restaurant
We found This Fish amok much more flavourful than the one we had at Red house restaurant, Phnom penh. Also the coconut milk here was thicker & creamier , yet natural. The flavours of fish expressed itself very well. Fab taste.
Fried Cambodia spicy beef had thickly sliced shallots, bell pepper, long beans & some really strong flavoured local herbs. Soft YUMM pieces of beef tasted wow.
Fried eggplant with minced pork was outstanding- it had large pieces of aubergine / eggplant at the base & minced pork on top. Every bite was pure ecstasy. Juicy minced pork & excellent aubergines were doing a tango.
Tous les jours was recommended by chef subhayan das, who had made one of the finest churros I have ever had (we still can’t forget those churros almost a decade later).
We tried Miscellaneous Savoury items – they were top class.
We also tried Moon cake at this bakery – Mooncakes is a Chinese bakery product that is eaten during mid autumn festival. It had an egg yolk in the middle. The cake was slightly sweet, superheavy, sweet & salt to taste. Not bad at all.
Chhanrey tree Co – Sokkhak river
Loved the Coconut mojito – the flavour of coconut water was absolutely intact. Straw was made of lemongrass stock.
Raw banana crispies made in-house we’re super crispy, perfectly salted & very good to taste
Fresh spring roll with pork was the best spring roll we had in the trip. Super soft outer layer of translucent rice paper & filling of juicy pork with cucumber, rice noodles, local lettuce, chive leaves, & a strong flavoured khmer herb. I loved it as it is & also with the peanut dipping sauce that came with the dish.
Fresh beef skewers were outstanding again. Super soft, super juicy , robust flavours, absurdly YUMM. There was a thin layer of animal fat in the middle, that added to the immense flavour & also the texture. Memorable.
Frog leg Char khreoung – frog legs stir fried with Khmer spices, lemon grass, turmeric, lime leaf, galangal, garlic, Chinese celery & spring onions. Loved the dish. Loved munching on the frog legs. They tasted almost like tiny juicy chicken legs.
Dessert we had chek ktish – banana, roasted yellow beans, coconut cream, sago seeds & white sesame seeds. We loved the dish as it is – refreshingly different, complex & it left a mark. The vanilla Ice cream was not needed as it was interfering with the lovely dessert. We kept that ice cream away after the first bite.
coming up soon – part 3 of 3