What do you do as a cuisine when your two closest neighbours are the super stars in the region. Not a lot you can do really, apart from sit back and be enjoyed when people come across you.
Khmer cuisine will never reach the dizzying heights of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine has. But in its own way it is kinda a star in its self.
Phnom Penh, compared to Bangkok is still asleep. But it has a charm that Bangkok lost many years ago. Its recent history is horrendous, and is really amazing that everyone still manages to have a genuine smile on their faces.
We decided to check out what Khmer food was all about. So wandered along the river front in Phnom Penh and found a nice place called the Khmer Borane Restaurant. Thankfully they turned the fan on us as we sat down. It was pretty humid that night.
They had a montage of dishes, some Thai, some Chinese, some Cambodian. We opted for fish cooked in palm sugar and a chicken curry with Khmer potatoes. The curry was Thai style but lacked the heat of Thai food, and also lacked a lot of chicken. The white fish steaks were cooked really well and due to the palm sugar were kinda sweet.
I do not think Khmer food is going to dazzle us, but it will keep us happy until we hit Vietnam.
Siem Reap seems to have a better selection of restaurants than what we found in Phnom Penh, or maybe we were looking in the wrong places.
One of the highlights was Amok with either chicken or fish. The best one I had in a simple place, and it was served in a green coconut.
We ate well in Cambodia but they do not do picante food very well.
Next stop Vietnam ..... Bring on the chilli's ....