Aug 14, 2016

Cambodia Travelogue: Daily Dose of Khmer Street Food (31 Jan 2015)

Tomb raiding sounded more fun than you think.

After the gruesome 26km cycling to and fro Ta Prohm, I could hardly go toilet without wincing. That being said, cycling was definitely out of questions. So we decided to spend the day on foot, exploring Phsar Chas (the Old Market) and its vicinity.

Our first stop of the day was none other than Nai Khmer Restaurant and Bar, for our first meal of the day.

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Khmer Pumpkin Pork @ Nai Khmer Restaurant and Bar
The tanner half went for this Khmer pumpkin pork, which was rich with fiber and coconut milk, as his main course. I personally felt that it could get quite boring after awhile due to its subtlety in flavour. Perhaps a little more salt would spice things up!

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Khmer Noodles with Pork @ Nai Khmer Restaurant and Bar
I, on the other hand, opted for this Khmer noodles with pork. Flavour wise, I liked this better as it had a balanced profile. Texture wise, the peanuts did perform its fair share of differentiation. In case you are wondering how it tastes like, imagine it being a cold noodles doused with tangy sauce, with stir fry pork and peanut chunks at side to eat it with.

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Khmer Pancake @ Nai Khmer Restaurant and Bar
For sharing, we ordered this Khmer pancake. The delicately thin pancake was a strong display of awesomeness; it crumbled upon touch, mixed well with loaded minced pork and onions, and a bowl of tangy dipping sauce to go with. Needless to say, it triumphed over fried spring roll we had the other day.

Total Damage for 2 Pax = USD 8.25 (including a pint of Angkor draft beer)

With tummies filled, we continued exploring Phsar Chas. Phsar Chas is the home to plethora of souvenir stalls. Handicraft, silver, silk, and jewelries are some of the ubiquitous items sold within the confine of covered marketplace. For travellers intending to shop, you have plenty options to choose from (though not so much for us).

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Stir Fry Kuey Teow @ Random Mobile Noodle Stall (USD 1)
We stumbled across this random roadside stall outside Phsar Chas, with few locals waiting patiently for their takeaway. Curious we were, we joined the bandwagon and had a packet of the piping hot stir fry kuey teow by the roadside.

Smooth and silky, their kuey teow was almost perfect. I loved that it was loaded with vegetables. The taste of fish sauce was distinct yet not overwhelming, though like most Khmer food, it lacked the savoury profile that we Malaysian are so accustomed to.

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Fried Crullers @ Random Mobile Snack Stall (USD 1)
For dessert, we bought two different fried crullers from a nearby roadside stall that came with a pale green sauce. The crullers was not as fluffy but remained satisfying. The sauce was a nice addition: akin to kaya, it tasted less coconut but more sugary.

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Soursop Shake @ Random Mobile Juice Stall (USD 1)
We also ordered a soursop shake to quench our thirst. Similar to our last rambutan shake, it had more ice than I liked, diluting the goodness of soursop.

We ventured outside Phsar Chas just to find ourselves in Central Market and Angkor Night Market, selling similar things like Phsar Chas. The only notable difference was the overwhelming glitter of jewelries in Angkor Night Market. It was the heaven for jewelries shoppers.

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Pork Baguette @ Angkor Night Market (USD 1)

By night fall, we headed back to Phsar Chas, where it continued to brim with noises and people. For adventurous travellers, it was here you would find fried insects piling high in a mobile push truck. For pub goers, plenty of pubs awaited at Pub Street. For the less adventurous us, we stopped by and grabbed some freshly made pork baguette for snacks. How could we possibly say "No" to a crispy bun, loaded with pickled vegetables and piping hot pork skewers?

IN SUMMARY,

My personal dining ranking (5 being the full score) based on following criteria are:
  • Ambiance
    • Nai Khmer Restaurant and Bar - 3/5
    • Random Mobile Noodles Stall - 2/5
    • Random Mobile Snacks Stall - 2/5
    • Random Mobile Juice Stall - 2/5
    • Random Mobile Baguette Stall - 2/5
  • Price
    • Nai Khmer Restaurant and Bar - 5/5
    • Random Mobile Noodles Stall - 4/5
    • Random Mobile Snacks Stall - 3/5
    • Random Mobile Juice Stall - 2/5
    • Random Mobile Baguette stall - 4/5
  • Food
    • Nai Khmer Restaurant and Bar - 4/5
    • Random Mobile Noodles Stall - 3/5
    • Random Mobile Snacks Stall - 3/5
    • Random Mobile Juice Stall - 2/5
    • Random Mobile Baguette stall - 4/5
  • Verdict
    • Nai Khmer Restaurant and Bar - Affordable Khmer food place with plenty of options for one to choose from. Oh, do I mention they serve cheap local draft beer too?
    • Random Mobile Noodles Stall - Simple food at its best
    • Random Mobile Snacks Stall - Interesting sauce but I still like it the Malaysian way
    • Random Mobile Juice Stall - Opt for less ice if you can
    • Random Mobile Baguette stall - An easy and delicious snack on the go. 

My personal attractions verdicts for:

Phsar Chas, Central Market, Angkor Night Market - If you like shopping, these are the places you should at least pay a visit. You might just end up buying the whole market!


DINING INFO:

Nai Khmer Restaurant and Bar
Street 9, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Operation Hours: N/A (They serve brunch, lunch and dinner)
Tel: +855 63 964 154
Credit Card: No

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