Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Abacus, Siem Reap

Siem Reap was such an adventure! Clambering over temple ruins while trying not to get a heatstroke is something I would actually recommend doing at least once in one's life. There is much natural beauty everywhere: in watching the sun rising over the Angkor Wat, and then beholding the subsequent soft light on the temple stones; traipsing over blocks in the tranquil wilderness of Beng Mealea and discovering trees so ancient and huge; the indescribable lull of acceptance after a tiring wait for the sun to set atop Bakheng Hill...

Before I proceed to wax lyrical about how wonderful of an experience Siem Reap was to us, let's shift our attention back to our favourite task: eating!

Dinner was much enjoyed at Abacus, serving 'fine French and Cambodian Asian food'. I must declare at this point Abacus serves incredible fine French and Cambodian Asian food that does not cost an arm nor a leg!

We telepathically agreed on the foie gras to start.

This is the largest hunk of duck liver I have ever had on a plate. It came with a piece of toast ( which looks like another piece of foie gras), sitting atop mango and arugula lettuce with a pretty drizzle of balsamic reduction. We were in awe of its mere presence on our table!

It certainly did not disappoint - the foie gras was smooth, moist and buttery. It went really well with the sweetness and mushiness of the mango, the accompanying toast gave it a nice crunchy texture. Although reluctant to fault this dish, we thought it could have been pan fried slightly longer for that extra charred/ smoky flavour.

Oh my god. Besides this being the biggest slab of foie gras I've ever laid eyes on (for 17USD), the soft, melty foie gras was oh-so decadent and the mango, greens and crunchy bread do pair perfectly. It was slightly sinewy, but somehow did not leave the cloying fatty feeling in the mouth upon consumption. Sweet moses.

I feasted upon this Entrecote Bordelaise both with my eyes and my tongue. This massive monster hunk of rib-eye was served in a thick shalloty sauce. Was served with garlic taters, sauteed spinach (which waere SUBLIME), and pan fried mushrooms. And I kid you not, those mushrooms, quite simply put, was imba. I've never quite had mushrooms like this, and being a god-damn SIDE DISH, what the hell was I to expect from the beef??!?!?!!

Perfection in this rib-eye, medium rare, soft and juicy and pink. The sweet onion red wine sauce complimented the bloody steak perfectly. I also commented to Bunneh how the saucey blood oozing from the steak fused with the sauce giving it an interesting taste (and as a result, a clean plate). Vanderful.

I decided on a medium-rare slab of beef tenderloin in a special ginger sesame sauce with sides of potatoes, mushrooms and creamy spinach. This was stellar!

Many have said that perfection is simplicity - and I believe this dish echoes this philosophy. Each item is so simple, and simply done well. The mushrooms were succulent, spinach was so.. spinach-y (ie, as opposed to non-real frozen stuff) and creamy - even the potatoes were yum. I really enjoyed the sweet ginger-infused sauce too, with liberal amounts of sesame seed in it.

Now. The beef. The beef was an excellent cut and cooked the only way steak should be cooked (medium rare!).

After quite possibly the most imba beef dinner we've had, we had this strange contraption for dessert. This apple pie thingamajig had sliced caramelized apple over filo pastry, sprinkled with Cambodian kampot pepper, with a side of vanilla ice cream and a decorative pepper vine draped over it.

I thought the pepper gave the apple and pastry an interesting zing, but thought the overall taste slightly bizarre. The ice cream though good did not gel well with the rest too, and we were hesitant to pop that vine into our mouths (don't think you're supposed to anyway. We didn't ask).

The final bill for the grand foie gras, two stellar beef mains, dessert and two reds set us back 69USD. What, the heck, and mind you this was one of the (probably the) finest restaurants in all Siem Reap, so worth it.

TripAdvisor : http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g297390-d1048764-Reviews-Abacus_Restaurant_Garden_Bar-Siem_Reap.html
Rating (out of 4) :

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