After we booked our tickets to Cambodia, I did what I usually do next, I checked out Cambodia food we should eat there. The local delicacies, the Khmer Cuisine, and the tourist faves. I do this whenever I travel. Especially on Asian food. I have asked for recommendations for the best bubble tea in Taiwan, Google’d the best Japanese food in Tokyo and texted a friend for the best egg tart shop in Hong Kong. I typed "Cambodia food blogs" and read some blogs dedicated to the love of Cambodian food, but it didn’t appeal to my taste buds. Maybe the food in Cambodia is not the type that I would I enjoy I thought and closed the browser after the first-page search.
I am here today to admit my ignorance. Angelina Jolie may not eat much in Tomb Raider with all the fighting and be sexy business, but I ate a lot of Cambodia food and it was delicious.
Most Popular Cambodia Food You Must Eat In Siem Reap
Aromatic Kroeung covered Mekong Catfish
Khmer Kitchen // Corner of Street 11 & Alley West, Siem Reap
This was our first meal in Cambodia. Catfish is a daily staple here in Cambodia with so many ways of cooking it. We had the grilled fish with mango salad on the side. A perfectly delicious combination. This was the meal that got me hooked into Cambodia food.
Chanrey Tree // Pokambor Ave, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Prahok Ktish is a Cambodian food delicacy of fermented fish, pork, thinly sliced river fish which is braised with coconut cream, baby eggplant and served with blanched vegetable crudités. Thicker than stew, the way to eat it is to mix it with the vegetables served on the side and rice. It’s rich in flavor yet refreshing.
A shout out to Chanrey Tree for giving the best first-class customer service. I highly recommend this restaurant. Especially for its service. The waiters were so attentive. The only thing they didn't do was actually put the food in our mouths, but I have a feeling they would also do so if asked.
Khmer Cuisine - Fish Amok
Almost any restaurant that serves Cambodian food in Siem Reap
A friend told me to try the amok at Siem Reap and I am glad she did, otherwise I would have missed such a unique dish.
I have had a good share of food around the globe and I try to make the connection between food from different cultures. Chinese food, especially the Sichuan dishes with Indian food; or a Middle Eastern food with Balinese yellow rice, but nothing I have eaten can come close to Khmer Amok.
It is a steamed curried fish, another traditional dish of Cambodian food. Coated in a thick coconut milk and spices, the fish is either steamed or baked in a cup made from banana leaves. It’s coconut-ey delicious.
Happy Special's Happy Pizza // 79 Mondul 1 Khum Svay, Krong Siem Reap
It's a very normal looking restaurant with a simple seating arrangement and a few customers. I guess people don't have Happy Pizza for dinner. It's just us, the naive. A grumpy man came to hand out the menu. I looked through it, trying to find the Happy marks, nothing. Just normal pizzas with so many choices that come with three sizes, sold at normal prices.
Fafa placed the order with the grumpy man and whispered the word herb ever so softly.
The happy pizza came and I took a bite. It was bitter. In my head bitter pizza = cooked with weed = happiness. So I polished off three-quarters of it while deciding to let the tuk-tuk guy be the designated driver for the night.
I was ready to be taken down and get high with happiness. I was so ready, but nothing. We waited for some more time until we decided maybe liqueurs would help to open the happy gate. Desperate moments you guys; we gulped down two each, waited, concluded nothing happened and went back to the hotel. DISAPPOINTED.
I woke up the next day feeling extra sleepy, extra lazy and extra slow, and with a headache thanks to the happy pizza. This was not what I wanted. But I still definitely recommend you to try it once in your life.
Khmer BorBor aka Rice Porridge
Madam Moch Khmer Restaurant // 021 Taphul Road, Siem Reap 17259
A favorite in the street food scenes in Cambodia, admittedly, Khmer porridge didn’t look appealing. It might even raise eyebrows upon seeing the mix of it. It had salted fish and dried prawns, but I swear it’s freaking delicious. The local breakfast's choice is the way to start your temple-exploring day. Or, in my case, a great way to snap out of feeling high from eating happy pizza twelve hours before.
After the Cambodia food-induced travel I have concluded that any place we go, there will always be delicious local food. We just have to keep our minds open. It might even be weird in the beginning, but the weird food is usually the best ones. This trip has also inspired me to take cooking class whenever I try to a new place. I think it would be a great taste of culture experience.
Briphok ahar sabbay, you guys!