"Gourmandism is an act of judgement, by which we prefer things which have a pleasant taste to those which lack this quality." – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Outside Singapore

Khmer (Cambodian) Food (Siem Reap)

I just got back from Cambodia yesterday and I should do a long post after my last post two years ago! I was basically too busy with work and life.

Cambodia was really hot and humid, 99% of its people depend on tourists to survive. Tuk-tuks are everywhere waiting for that fateful someone to get on and eateries are everywhere too. Hygiene may pose a problem but as long as you use your experienced judgement, you shouldn’t get any upset tummy. Food are also priced very reasonably from USD1 (low-end) to USD14 (high-end).

We stayed in The Villa, Siem Reap, situated within walking distance to the Night Market, Central Market, Pub Street and to many of eateries all around. TripAdvisor’s Genevieve Restaurant, Haven Training Restaurant and Bugs Cafe are all nearby. If you are bored of Khmer food, there is KFC and Sarpino’s Pizza. It is a very convenient and comfortable budget place to stay in!

The most common food you will see on menus are Lok Lak, fried MaMa noodles, Amok, Khmer curry and ginger chicken. Cambodians use fish sauce as a main seasoning that makes every dish delicious. We had our first meal at a place near our hotel called Lilypop Restaurant.
Website: http://www.lilypop-restaurant.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lilypoprestaurant

Beef Lok Lak

Beef Lok Lak

Beef is both marinated and stir-fried in fragrant peppery sauces that is very appeitizing.

Deep-fried pork

Deep-fried pork

Stir-fried mee

Stir-fried mee

This stir-fried mee looked so plain but once you get started on it, you simply can’t stop! The noodles were surprisingly springy and full of flavour! It is a fusion of pepper, fish sauce and chilli sauce! I finished the whole plate and I must mention that this plate of mee cost only USD1.50!

On one of the evenings, we had our dinner at this well-acclaimed The Sugar Palm restaurant. Nice ambience but food was over-rated.
Website: http://www.thesugarpalm.com/spsr/

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Fish Amok

Fish Amok that needed 45 minutes of preparation time

Khmer Crispy Noodles

Khmer Crispy Noodles

Ginger with chicken

Ginger with chicken

This ginger fish was taken at Fusion Kitchen (part of Soria Moria Boutique Hotel) along Wat Bo Road. We were there on a Thursday and happened to be “Oh My Buddha” day. So every food item was on 50% discount and drinks were one for one. I really liked the ginger and fish. It was much better than the ginger with chicken I ate at Sugar Palm.
Address: Soria Moria Boutique Hotel, Wat Bo Road, Salakamrouk, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Website: http://thesoriamoria.com/

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Fried, baked or charcoal-grilled chicken are also common on the menu. The chicken meat is tougher because they are reared locally and chickens run around the residents’ houses. You will find that the chickens have little fats. We really prefer this texture and the meat is more flavourful too. The chickens are usually marinated with lemongrass and ginger.

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Before I arrived in Cambodia, my friend has been telling me to eat tarantulas!! We chanced upon Bugs Cafe outside our hotel. Wanting to fused culturally, we stepped in and ordered the Mixed Insects (tarantula, scorpion, giant waterbug, crickets and silkworms wok-fried in chilli). OMG, it was an experience of my lifetime! And ONCE is ENOUGH!
Website: http://bugs-cafe.e-monsite.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bugscafesr

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On our way taking the tuk-tuk 70 km out of Siem Reap, we saw many villagers selling bamboo sticky rice. So Daddy bought one and tried. It is made of glutinous rice, red bean, coconut and some sugar, cooked over heat for 20 minutes.

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TripAdvisor recommended this Genevieve’s Restaurant, quoting it has the best fish amok and many other Khmer dishes at a very affordable price. We went there two days in a row!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GenevievesRestaurant#_=_
Address: Sok San Street, Siem Reap, Siem Reap 3058, Cambodia

Tom Yum Kong

Tom Yum Gong

We suggested the chef to make it much more spicy for us, as their original is said to be sweet. It turned out spicy enough for us and the tom yum tasted very authentic! A pity there was too little soup for the three of us to share.

Sweet and Sour Fish

Sweet and Sour Fish

Sweet and Sour Fish (with sauce separated)

Sweet and Sour Fish (with sauce separated)

Their freshwater fish – Red Fish, deep-fried and drenched on with sweet and sour sauce. The fish was very very meaty and well fried. A little muddy taste for those who are sensitive to it, otherwise, very delicious.

Fish Amok

Fish Amok

Every cube in that banana leaf wrap is fish. Not too sweet and not too coconut-ty. The fish had a good texture. What amazed me was the flavourful vegetables at the side.

Khmer Beef

Khmer Beef

Tenderloin beef was used in this beef dish cooked to the level of your choice. We had them medium and it turned out perfect. Garlic was the main garnishing and the side sauce was a mixture of black pepper, fish sauce and lime (I think). It was very appetizing.

Khmer Fish Curry

Khmer Fish Curry

The Khmer Fish Curry was also very good, not too spicy and with a little bit of sweetness.

Picture taken from Central Market showing where the locals eat. There wasn’t any foul smell from the wet market or smelly fumes from the cooking surprisingly. But we still did not want to put our stomachs to risk here.

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cooking with charcoal underneath

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looks like our niang tou fu, don’t they?

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sweet desserts, with lots of houseflies above

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Cooking just at the side of her business

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cai-fan look-alike stall. Many many houseflies!!!

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no idea what this is…

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We also saw crickets and grasshoppers being sold in markets. Do you dare to eat them?

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steamed quails eggs

We also bought some Jasmine Rice home. It was really cheap. USD0.80 for 1 kg.

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That almost summed up all the food we have tried in our six days of stay in Siem Reap. Goodbye Siem Reap, and to all the dust and heat too.


Restoran Win Yin 容原宮保田雞粥

This is the place where my cousin has always been wanting to bring me to. She claims that the frog porridge here is better than the one I brought her to.

We ordered the frogs in “gong bao” flavour, sliced fish in spring onion and ginger, stir fried lala, peanuts and preserved vegetables, together with 5 servings of porridge. Each frog is RM7.50 and the whole meal cost RM$66.50.

I felt the frogs weren’t as flavourful as that I had here. But the sliced fish were not bad. The lala was not bad too.

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Preserved vegetables 咸菜

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Shellfish “Lala”

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Frogs, sliced fish and porridge

The only bad part is we were really thirsty after our dinner. Probably too much MSG in the food.

Restaurant: Restoran Win Yin 容原宮保田雞粥
Address: 68 Jalan Toman 4, Kemayan Square, 70200 Seremban Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 630pm – 0430am


Restoran Yong Tao Fu Sam

My favorite niang tou fu stall in Seremban.

Each item is 90 cents. Niang toufu items are always filled fully with marinated meat. The meat is usually mixed and made by the stall themselves unlike the homogeneous white tasteless meat bought from some wholesalers in Singapore. Items are so chunky, you feel like you are eating every cent of your money’s worth.

You can order it with “lai fan”, bee hoon, kuay tiao, yellow mee or rice. It comes with fragrant dark soy sauce and minced meat.

After selecting the items, the stall will heat up either by cooking in the soup or deep-frying the items again.

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Restaurant: Restoran Yong Tao Fu Sam 亚生酿豆腐餐室
Address: 1851 Taman Ujong, Jalan Tok Ungku, 70100 Seremban Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Opening hours: 730am – 330pm. Closed on Tuesdays.


U Crab Wang Restaurant 柔蟹皇海鲜饭店

Had supper at this place yesterday at Seremban. We ordered 3 crabs cooked in 2 flavours – mushroom and chilli (辣子). We were quite apprehensive about the mushroom one at first but since the waitress said it is one of their most popular flavour, we decided to give it a try.

We couldn’t really tell how they made the mushroom gravy, but guessed they probably used Campbell’s canned soup and added onions, garlic and cheese. It was quite flavourful.

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The chilli one was not bad either, with curry leaves, dried shrimps, garlic and chilli. I felt it was not spicy enough.

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The crab was meaty but had a slight tinge of muddy taste. Price – RM$63 per kg.

The restaurant offers 28 types of flavours of crab. Besides this, they also have a “zi char” menu.

Note: Mosquitos are abundant at night. Spray insect repellent first if you are eating supper.

Restaurant: U Crab Wang Restaurant 柔蟹皇海鲜饭店
Address: 259 Jalan Haruan 5/7 Pusat Komersial Oakland 2, 70300 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Tel: 06-632 7833; 016 906 6591
Email: ucrabwangrestaurant@yahoo.com
Opening hours: 11am – 3pm; 6pm – 12am. Closed on Tuesdays.


Ayam Tulang Lunak Malioboro

On our last night in Bali, our driver took us to try their local specialty – soft bone chicken!

The chicken was cooked in their special manner such that the bone is soft and melts upon chewing and that the spring chicken can be eaten without any leftovers. The meat was chewy, crispy and fragrant. I prefer the telur asin (salted egg yolk) flavour. It was really a memorable eating experience.

1/2 Ayam Goreng Crispy 50k
1/2 Ayam Telur Asin 66k
Gurami Goreng Terbang 64k
Nasi Putih 8k
Juice Semangka 25k
Juice Sirsak 28k
Juice Terong Belanda 28k

Prices in Rupiah. Prices exclude 10% tax and 5% service charge.

Restaurant: Ayam Tulang Lunak Malioboro
Address: Jalan Kediri No. 501-J, Kuta, Bali
Tel: 361-759192

Other locations:
1) Jalan Kartini No. 47, Surabaya. Tel: 31-5687164/31-5687165
2) Jalan Manyar Kertoarjo No. 75, Surabaya. Tel: 31-5947677/31-5940084
3) Jalan Mayam Wuruk No. 88, Denpasar. Tel: 361-245230


Iiga Warung

This is Babi Bakar (BBQ Pork Ribs) that is popular in Bali. Our driver took us here on the second day and we finally tried this. As much as I do not like pork, I have to try this popular local dish. I must say I enjoyed this quite much.

We waited for almost half an hour for the ribs to get BBQ-ed. Throughout the grilling, we could smell the aroma of the ribs. The meat was tender and well-marinated. Neither was the pork as fatty as that in Singapore. The mie goreng was well fried and it wasn’t that oily. The strawberry milkshake was a cooling drink in the hot weather.

The shop front is clean and the staff is friendly.

Babi Bakar (Pork Ribs ~300g) 105k
Mie Goreng 65k
Strawberry Milkshake 30k

Prices in Rupiah and does not include 10% service charge.

Restaurant: Iiga Warung
Address: Jalan Uluwata II, Jimbaran, Bali
Tel: 81-338- 262009 / 81-239-78359
Email: iigawarung@yahoo.com


Sardine

This restaurant is warmly romantic, decorated with traditional Balinese furniture. Service was good and we even got a complimentary seared tuna from the chef!

Food was very good despite the steep prices.

Menu

Menu

Interior 3

Interior 3

Interior 2

Interior 2

Interior 1

Seared Tuna

Seared Tuna

Papua Crab Tower

Papua Crab Tower

Pan Roasted Kingfish

Pan Roasted Kingfish

Indian Ocean Bouillabaisse

Indian Ocean Bouillabaisse

Passion Fruit Sorbet

Passion Fruit Sorbet

Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Complimentary Seared Tuna from the chef
Papua Crab Tower 90k
Pan Roasted Kingfish 160k
Indian Ocean Bouillabaisse 190k
Blanc de Mer 190k
Passion Fruit Sorbet 40k
Vanilla Ice Cream 40k

All prices in Rupiah. Prices exclude 8% service charge and 10% tax.

Restaurant: Sardine
Address; 21 Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan, Bali
Tel: 62-361-8436111 / 62-361-8436333 (Reservations recommended)
Email: sardine@sardinebali.com
Website: http://www.sardinebali.com/