Although both Vietnamese and Thai cuisine are well known around the world, only a few people are familiar with Cambodia cuisine. As Cambodia is a country rich in history and culture, so is the country’s cooking. This then makes eating and drinking in Siem Reap a pleasant experience to look forward to.
Cambodian dishes derive much of their flavors from herbs and spices that are locally grown and produce sweet, salty, sour and bitter blended flavors. With plenty of freshwater fish in the country, it is no surprise that fish is the most common protein in Cambodian cooking, accompanied by a wide range of vegetables.
A typical Cambodian meal consists of soup, a salad, a fish dish and, of course, rice. Some of the must-try dishes in Siem Reap include amok, which is a steamed fish dish drizzled with herbs and spices to bring out the flavor of the fish without masking its taste. Another must try is the samlor korko, which is a mixed vegetable and fish soup. Char Kdao, on the other hand, is meat stir-fried in lemongrass, basil and galangal.
During the hot summer months of Siem Reap, there is no more revitalizing treat than a fresh fruit shake. Locals love combining fresh fruit with a hint of sweetened condensed milk, making this beverage a traveler’s delight. Another drink that tourists must try is sugar cane juice, which is extracted by cracking and mashing the stalks of a sugar care. Combine fresh sugar cane juice with a splash of lime to make it the perfect afternoon treat.
To accommodate the increasing number of foreign visitors, Siem Reap has an impressive range of quality restaurants for every budget and every taste. Many of the restaurants are located in the Old Market area along the Sivatha Street and along Highway 6 of the west of town.
Pub Street is the best known watering hole of the city as many nice restaurants are seen that won’t break the bank. Some of the notable places along Pub Street are Banana Leaf and Le Tigre Papier. Parallel to Pub Street is Alley Street where some interesting restaurants can be seen, such as the Khmer Family Restaurant.
Other popular restaurants include the Khmer Kitchen Restaurant that serves authentic Khmer food at affordable prices, Samapheap Restaurant with delectable seafood prepared in traditional Khmer style and the Soup Dragon, which serves great Vietnamese cuisine. Deemed the best café and bakery in Siem Reap, Blue Pumpkin greets visitors with slick interiors and fine food all day long. This bakery is extremely popular with expats and tourists as they serve freshly baked bread, pastries and delectable ice cream. Then there is Red Piano. It’s been told that Red Piano was Angelina Jolie’s favorite restaurant in Siem Reap and it serves great Western and Khmer food.
There are hundreds of restaurants around the city as tourists will not have trouble finding places to go to when eating and drinking in Siem Reap. Make sure to try authentic Cambodian cuisine when in the city to instantly nail your Cambodian visit.