Saturday, April 30, 2011

Riverside Bistro, Phnom Penh

First day of seven in Cambodia! By the time we had checked in and deposited our bags in a little inn in Phnom Penh, it was close to 2pm. Famished and dehydrated, we chose Riverside Bistro along the touristy Sisowath Quay for a late leisurely lunch.

We got a rude awakening that we were in foreign land when we saw that Angkor Beer was ~ USD 7 for a jug. ONE WHOLE JUG - for that price you're lucky to get a pint in Singapore! With the 35-40 degree celsius weather bearing down on us, nothing gets much better than ice cold beer T_T

Eager to start trying some local fare, we ordered some Cambodian rice paper rolls (~ USD 3) to start. In the pics they looked pretty similar to the Vietnamese rice paper rolls.

Prawns and lemongrass and sweet chilli, just like its Vietnamese counterpart, but this was also packed with spring onions, cucumbers and mango, giving it an amazing crunch and sweet tang! The paper skin was also more chewy and less sticky than the Vietnamese ones, awesome!

Talking about popular (touristy) Cambodian fare, the first item that comes to mind is the fish amok (~USD 7). Marketed as fish cooked in coconut milk, lime and basil, the look of the dish and consistency is actually much more closer to Thai otah. Just that instead of the spicy and lemongrassy tang of the Thai otah, it's replaced with heart clogging volumes of coconut milk.

Twas awesome though - sweet and surprisingly flavourful, the amok spice, coconut milk and basil work together harmoniously to make this mushy dish, with mashed bits and large chunks of fish lying in wait to be devoured by yours truly.

Bunneh had the obscene sounding Sach Ko Chror Nouch, grilled beef kebab marinated in lemon grass with a side of pickled stuff. This dish came looking simply amaazzinnn - two generous kebab strips with large chunks of marinated grilled beef wrapped around long beans. Really ... interesting sauce it was, it was like salty satay sauce, without peanuts. I felt the sauce was kinda strange but she loved it!

The beef was soft and so flavourful from the marinade - it tasted like a blend of green curry and satay sauce which I found to be yum!

The food was an interesting start to our tour of Cambodia though we came to realize over the next few days, Cambodian food has nary any (hot) spice in them at all D:

We stayed to savour our beer on this hot hot day.

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