Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Restaurants in Siem Reap - Day 1

Khmer soup at Khmer Kitchen. If it's good enough for Mick Jagger, hey, it's good enough for me!
Before we arrived in Siem Reap, I've found a list of recommended restaurants on the internet. First on our list was Khmer Kitchen which was located next to the Old Market. As there were only 2 of us, we ordered a Khmer soup, a baked potato with cheese and meat and basil salad. My sister liked the baked potato with cheese. The potatoes were sliced before being topped with cheese and baked. The Khmer soup was tangy, reminiscent of a lighter version of Thai tomyam. The meat and basil salad comes with blanched beansprouts. I have an aversion to basil, so I can't say this is my favourite dish.

Best ice-cream ever! The marvelous passionfruit & mango ice-cream at The Blue Pumpkin.

After filling our stomachs, we ventured opposite to the Blue Pumpkin Cafe. This is where we had a taste of the best ice-creams in Siem Reap! We ordered a scoop each of the Passionfruit and Mango ice-cream. One taste and we were very much in ice-cream heaven! The Blue Pumpkin also has a selection of nice pastries. I tried the Tandoori Chicken puff and found it to be just what I expected. The tender chicken cubes was nicely marinated in tandoori spices in a very light puff pastry.

After Blue Pumpkin, we took a short walk to Artisans d' Angkor http://www.artisansdangkor.com/to see the many wood and stone carvings for which Artisans is famous for. Unfortunately, the carvings were too heavy for us to carry back, so we ended up buying a lot of Cambodian silk handbags instead which were simply exquisite. It wasn't too pricey either, compared to something of similar quality in Malaysia. In fact, I would even say it's cheap. Artisans do provide shipping for the stone and wood carvings however, for those who are inclined to buy them.

Shopaholic heaven ... silks and aromatherapy soaps

We also took the opportunity to feel our way around the Old Market area and were surprised with the many shops selling t-shirts, soaps, silks, aromatherapy oils and souvenirs. I found the area here quite enchanting, a mixture of old and new, co-existing peacefully.

Fish Amok for dinner. Way too filling for 1 person!

After storing our loot back in our hotel room, we ventured back to the Old Market area for dinner. This time we settled for Khmer Family restaurant. The restaurant was brightly painted in eye-catching red which probably attracted us. We shared the Fish Amok with rice which was similar to the Malaysian otak-otak. The fish was marinated in spices and coconut milk before being steamed. Khmer Family also serves the Amok sampler for diners who wants to try different versions of the Amok.

At nightfall, the Old Market area comes to live with restaurants filled up with tourists. There was a hive of activity with book peddlers et al on the streets. There was also a restaurant cum dance theatre where you could have your meal and watch the traditional Khmer dances along the same street.

No comments: