Eats in Cambodia 3

When I first arrived in Phnom Penh on April of 2004, I stayed in a Cambodian household and so was quickly introduced to home-cooked Cambodian meals. The family I stayed with was also fond of eating out; it seemed that they have a list of places that they regularly go to–each serving a particular dish. This influenced me a lot, in the sense that as the years went by, my own list of favorite food–and where to get them–began to grow also.

And when I returned, I revisited these places to see if they still existed. Some of them are pictured below. I have yet to see some of these other places in the remaining days that I am here in Phnom Penh and I will share them if I am successful in finding them again.

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(Clockwise: the Beef Noodle Soup from that little shop in front of Hun Sen Park, beside Ngon Vietnamese Restaurant; Locha from a shop on Street 105, they used to operate a stall at Orussey Market and have apparently relocated here; Phnom Pang Pate from another shop on Mao Tse Toung Boulevard, across Wat Tuol Tom Pong; Hand-pulled Noodle Soup with Beef from this shop along Monivong Boulevard, they also sell wonderful spinach dumplings–steamed or fried–for just USD1.50 a serving (10 pieces); this one is a new favorite: Chaang Soup at Dao Coffee, over at Street 57.)

Eats in Cambodia 2

Upon my arrival in Phnom Penh, I stayed in a hotel for a few nights until I found an apartment. The hotel I chose was Blue Lime, because it was close to the office where I was going to be posted. Also, the manager is, in fact, my friend so I knew I’ll be well taken care of. Breakfast was an ample combination of fruits and artisanal bread, with butter and jam, fruit juice, brewed coffee, and eggs made the way you want it. It filled you up in a good way.

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I didn’t have other meals at the hotel because I was always out anyway. Except once, and I ordered a Khmer standard for lunch. It’s called Beef Loc Lac–a dish of quick-fried beef cubes, sauced and served on a bed of thinly sliced white onion, green tomato, and lettuce. And of course, rice. Their version of this dish, which is a staple in almost all Khmer restaurants and homes, was immaculate–barely a hint of being home-cooked but it tasted great.