Part 3 of 3 – siem reap continued
To read part 1 of 3, please click here: Phnom Penh
To read part 2 of 3, please click here: siem reap
we got this customised trip to Cambodia arranged thru Veena world, mumbai – super happy with the attention to detail on everything & patient assistance by Mehul Deshpande.
Onway to bantei Srei temple from siem reap
As we started driving from siem reap, we started feeling slight hungry. We asked our guide to take us to good local food shop.
We tried Bao Buns with pork filling from a random shop. It was a super soft bun with sweetish pork filling in the center.
We saw The traditional process of chicken being cooked in banana leaf on the roadside. Our guide suggested that we do not eat that as he was not sure of the chicken quality. We were very excited initially to try this but finally listened to our guide.
Stalls selling palm jaggery & also knick knacks made from parts of palm trees, Onway back from bantei Srei temple. We took a small bottle of what was kept along with with palm jaggery. Turned out to be sugarcane jaggery when we came back & tasted it.
For lunch we went to Srei koulen cafe, part of a large furniture shop, near bantei Srei temple. The furniture shop was selling very high quality hand carved wooden furniture & display units.
This restaurant served us the worst food in the trip, on a relative scale. On its own the food here was OK. It was very difficult to communicate with the guys here – so not sure what he was trying to convey.
Stir fry spicy beef with peanuts had less flavours than the rest of the curries we had in the trip. There was nothing spicy in this dish. It was rather bland.
Palm stirring soup sounded interesting but it turned out to be a bit bitter & surely low on salt. Don’t know if it was supposed to be like this.
So we did not dare to order anything else from here & just finished the meal abruptly.
As we headed back towards our hotel in siem reap, we spotted a lady selling some food on the roadside. There were quite a few people around (only locals, no tourists). So we requested our driver to stop by at this eatery.
We had an outstanding Beef skewer. Juicy, chewy & soft. Loved munching this with raw papaya salad.
Beef sausage was super intense, had robust & intense meaty flavours with a complimenting local marinade flavour. The sausage was hand made at the shop, in animal intestine casing.
Some guests wanted to eat this bite size. The lady was cutting the sausage with scissors & serving them!!!
This was an interesting evening – we went for a 1 hour buffet followed by 1 hour cultural show at this massive restaurant. The restaurant charges US$12 per person for the buffet & the show. Alcohol & soft drinks are served as per an a la carte menu card.
They had a live counter for soupy noodles.
Rest was all buffet – Cambodian , Chinese & western.
Siem reap local vegetable & meat market
The visit to this local (no tourists around) market was again arranged by our guide sayun (+85589809908) on request.
Inside the markets there were eateries with few stools to sit & eat. From savoury to sweets, from vegetables to meats to seafood – u see all.
A lady was selling different fruits, peeling & cleaning & cutting them, serving them with spices & sauce. Note the red guava on the top right.
Tangy fruit with pickled shrimp paste on top was being sold by her.
Among all these fruits & berries, was stir fried cricket (insect). We tasted it. Was super crisp, slightly juicy & there were flavours of pepper & some herbs that we used during fry.
Another stall inside the market had a huge array of food to choose from. We chose different vegetables wrapped in a fish fillet & fried. The veggies were beans (not French beans but the desi ones, known as borboti in kolkata), okra, baby corn , bunch of miscellaneous leaves & even fish wrapped around bread. All these were served on a bed of greens with some sweet & salt sauce poured on top. Loved every bit of it. Drooling at the thought of it, as I make this post.https://yummraj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/img_8324-1.mov
Hand made sausages with animal intestine was used to make the outer cover – the traditional way.
Another shop had Dried fish & fish sauce in bottles
We took some time to explore the Vegetables in the market. Almost 50% are common with what you find in india.
We also saw the Cambodian version of karela (bitter gourd) – it’s bitter.
Pumpkin seeds were being sold by weight.
rice crispies – like murmura/ bhel / muri, with palm jaggery on top was on sale in another shop.
low sweet , Rice cone crispies were being sold
Tapioca was being sold in the market – the shopkeeper was adding a sauce in this & serving.
Marinated small crabs – just stir fry & eat.
The market did not have any broiler chicken. All chicken was desi.
There were dedicated sweet shops. We tried a coconut sweet
Lotus seeds are eaten in Cambodia. Here is how it looks like & how the seed is taken out. Loved munching on these. Similar to something that is found in kolkata called ‘pani phal’. Somewhat similar to waterchestnut. After I posted about this on Instagram, I was pleasantly surprised to read messages by people from across india that they have also had this while growing up.https://yummraj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/img_8246-1.mov
In the meat shop full pig head was on display & so was full leg.
Chef D Angkor
They had a Set menu on offer
This was the only establishment we went to during our visit in Cambodia, who Wanted to charge 3.5% on MasterCard & rather insisted on cash. Everyone else was charging extra for American Express though.
Marinated beef salad with shallot, bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes & khmer dressing was very good to eat – simple.
Taro purse with sweet chilly sauce was fun to munch on. It had a flour outer layer & in the middle there was a root vegetable called taro.
Chicken sour soup with onion, oyster, mushroom & khmer herb had a distinct flavour . Loved the tanginess.
Stir fried pork with khmer spices was very good to eat with sticky rice.
Loved the Grilled fish with tamarind sauce. The fish was flaky & juicy.
Vegetables with oyster sauce was a nice, tasty & flavorful dish.
For dessert we were served Assorted fresh fruit
Roadside (siem reap) fresh steamed roll was good to taste. The one at Chhanrey tree Co was of course way better & many times more expensive than this one. Liked the simple version on the roadside.
We also tried a deep fried shrimp roll. It was bad as the outer layer had lost its crispness. I did not finish it.
Marinated Lotus stem with a dip was served as amuse bouche. Loved the crunchy, baby lotus stems as it is & also with the dip.
Takeo sausage was home made pork sausages flavoured with spices & fine coconut shavings.
Scallops & green pepper was stir fried fresh scallops from sihnouk ville, a coastal city in Cambodia, famous for its seafood catch. They were just divine. Bursting with flavours & that natural sweetish taste. The green pepper from Kampot province of Cambodia was on the vine. crushed garlic added a lot of flavour.
Oxtail soup was a great soup in which oxtail might have contributed a lot to the flavours of the soup, in addition to galangal & green papaya adding flavours. However the oxtail meat was totally lost in the dish.
Crab amok was served in an empty crab shell. Similar to fish amok described before, crab amok is made by steaming crab in coconut milk. Memorable. Loved the flavours of the fresh crab.
Palm fruit cooked in coconut milk was new for us. Not too sweet. Flavours of palm fruit were felt. Coconut milk was thin, yet strong. Beautiful dessert.
I wanted to try crocodile & snake meat & requested our guide to get us these. He tried his best but was unable to.
He however made me try a dish made from dried crocodile meat. The meat was dried & kept in a pile. When we ordered, the guy took a strip of the dry meat & started roasting it on direct charcoal flame. Once it was done, he manually pounded it in mortar & pestle.
The crocodile meat was dry (of course, as it was not fresh meat), burnt o the edges, had acquired a smokey flavour. As I started chewing on it, the saliva in the mouth started moistening the meat. Slowly the taste emerged. Very interesting & nice.
lotus farm restaurant, Onway to floating village, from siem reap
Our guide took us to this wonderful place in the middle of nowhere – a marsh land with bamboo & hay huts built on stilts. He told us that people come with families here & spend the whole day chilling, drinking beer, eating food. The huts have a single compartment, partly open from all sides. While there was enough breeze, there was an electric fan as well.
There was mat on the floor & in the middle there was a low table on which food was served. People sat around it on the mats & ate.
River fish & veggies Soup was extreme in flavours – we just could not stop having the soup. One of the best soups in the trip.
Eel stir fry was super tasty as well. Unbelievably good & fresh fish, cooked equally well.
Our last meal of the trip turned out to be memorable & epic.
On our way back we saw two things that we get to see in villages in bengal, india – an edible flower called bok ful & large organic gourds
…… watch out for the next post on tourism in Cambodia & stories of Hinduism & Buddhism in this kingdom.