Siem Reap Best Eats

13 Apr

A quiet City on the Siem Reap River full of markets, cafes, restaurants and bars, Siem Reap City is full is a nice place to hang out. We stayed longer then we had originally intended. Of course Angkor Wat is the City’s most important tourist attraction, which I have written about in another post. Here I wanted to share some tips on where to sleep and eat.

The No.10 Lodge across the Old Market Bridge cost $10 USD per night for a fan room, with cold water and cable TV. Free internet was available in the lobby. I would recommend staying here for the price and location. Like most other hotels in South East Asia, it is cheaper to book bus tickets, tours and any other service through a local travel agent as hotel prices are inflated.

Best meal we had in Siem Reap was at the Khmer BBQ restaurant directly opposite our hotel, the No. 10 lodge. I don’t think the street had a name but if you go to the Lodge you can’t miss the restaurant. We were tempted by the fire, smoke and wonderful smell of roasting meat and the evident popularity of the place full of locals and a handful of tourists. On our first visit we ordered BBQ steak and squid. We were given a plate (actually more like a tray) of vegetables and a number of small bowls of spices and sauces to complement the main course. Two waiters showed us how to eat each dish; my favourite was the barbecued beef dipped in a little bowl of Kampot pepper and salt mixed with fresh lime juice and chilli. Sounds simple – tasted amazing.

We went back to the BBQ restaurant a second time to try what we were told was the local speciality, a BBQ / hotpot cooked at the table for two. The special hotpot bowl looks like a large metal dish with a raised centre. At the table beef is sautéed on the the raised metal the middle of the hotpot while vegetables cook in the tasty but unhealthy mixture of butter and sesame seed oil in the moat surrounding the BBQ plate. When all is cooked to your liking, you dip the meat and vegetables into a creamy lemon-based sauce, which you again mix with lime and chilli to taste, before eating. It was great. I think because we tipped our two waiters at the end of our first visit to thank them for patiently teaching us step-by-step how to eat these Khmer dishes, they were even more attentive on the second night and cooked a lot of our cook-it-yourself hotpot /BBQ for us. I think on both nights we paid for two people between $6 and $8 for plenty of food and beer. Highly recommended.

The Pancake Man deserves to become a Siem Reap legend. At his little cart stationed opposite the night market, the pancake man cooks up fresh banana and chocolate pancakes. The best way to eat these hot little beauties is wrapped in paper as you wander around the numerous street stalls selling clothes, jewellery and souvenirs. Two pancakes will set you back a dollar.

The Temple Bar on Pub Street stages an impressive (and free) Aspara dance show every night at 7pm. The food here, especially the Amok, is good and drinks are sold at happy hour prices.

Run by a Kiwi Miss Wong’s is Siem Reap’s best cocktail bar. Drinks here are pricier then at other places on Pub Street but of a much better quality. Unlike the large two-story Red Piano, Miss Wong’s is small with an intimate atmosphere and the Chinese theme is cute not kitch.

Those on a tight budget will be happy to know that the Night Markets and two restaurants backing on to the Old Market parallel to pub street sell good cheap food ($1 rice and noodles).

2 Responses to “Siem Reap Best Eats”

  1. christine hodgetts April 13, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    You are both having heaps of fun, we are going to the pub for tea tonight with your Mum and Dad and the Penmans Take care Love Christine

  2. Mum April 13, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    Food looks great, especially the pancakes!
    Would love to go to Miss Wong’s for a cocktail.
    Alex certainly looks like he is enjoying himself.
    Love from Mum

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