A friend told me a few weeks ago that I’m lucky, I’m in the front row seat when it comes to experiencing Khmer cuisine. I mean real Khmer food. The one’s cooked at home, not those delicious but often ‘fusion’ or tweaked food to suit the visitor’s palate. I never really thought about it, but then most of these things I consider ‘normal’ or a daily routine. I eat mostly Khmer food now, so I guess I took it for granted.
Sure there are a lot of Khmer restaurants around, but those catering specially for tourists don’t really offer the real Khmer food. More like a semblance of Khmer food. I think its a bit hard to find, authentic Khmer food in those restos. Probably, the most usual Khmer fare that tourists and some expats taste would be amok and lok lak which is a shame coz the country has a lot to offer in terms of food. Take for instance, their wide variety of samlors (soups), its a must try but they are often hard to find. That’s why if you have Khmer friends and you get invited to their homes to eat, I would suggest jump at the offer (I know it sounds mercenary but..) you might be in for a little palate adventure.
While its a bit hard to find authentic Khmer fare in most city restos, you can still find something close to it across the Japanese bridge. I’ll let you on a little secret: this place is my favorite place to relax during weekends – those little stilt huts with hammocks along the river! Mind you, these places aren’t posh, and not for those who prefer their napkins to be sparkling white. But its an experience you’d find in no other place. This is an entirely Khmer affair and celebrates the Khmer love for lounging around on mats, hammocks and food.
There are a couple of places like this a few minutes drive away from the Japanese bridge, but the ones we usually go to are the one’s near the Chinese temple. I’m not sure exactly about the directions and the restaurants usually have Khmer names. But these places are a fantastic places to relax, be with family and friends. The food is also cheap and really really really delicious.
Just a few weekends ago, we went there again to enjoy the food and some quiet time. Here’s some pic spam..
grilled shrimps with garlic-chili sauce, served with herbs, cucumbers & tomatoes
chicken stir-fried with ginger & spring onions
samlor koh kor – veggies, fish, spices and flavored with roasted rice..this is super delicious.
Nice, relaxing place..
fabulous river views..
little huts for some privacy
the super happy to be there kiddo. she loves the hammocks obviously.
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