Great food, exciting location, friendly staff
While the rooms might not be our favourite in town, The Ivy has plenty of other things to recommend it.
This is an old-school Siem Reap guesthouse (the longest-running according to their website), set in an old Khmer villa with brick walls downstairs and wooden floors, gangways and balcony upstairs. The rooms are small and sparse, with simple beds and cold water showers. We recommend asking for the upstairs rooms, particularly during rainy season as the downstairs rooms can get a little bit damp.
The best bits though are likely to strike you as soon as you walk into the leafy courtyard, which doubles as the entrance and bar/restaurant area. The scent and sounds of fun being had in the kitchen are the reason why The Ivy has a real knock-out reputation for its food, especially if you’re vegetarian. A huge menu is turned out of this small kitchen, with the owner Vannary carefully keeping an eye on everything. And you’ll be surprised at how sophisticated and delicious so much of it is, like the olive tart ($4), onion and feta tart ($4), the “world’s best veggie burger” ($4), or perhaps an eggplant and parmesan baguette ($4.25) tickles your fancy. And we haven’t even got to the vegetarian menu yet. There you’ll find things like veggie burritos ($4.75), nut roast ($4.75), ravioli stuffed with feta and spinach ($5.25), mezze (4.25), and so, so much more. If you think that you won’t be able to decide, fear not. The Ivy hosts a special $1 tapas night every Friday, where 17 vegetarian dishes, 18 meat-based plates and five desserts are available for $1 each, as are the drinks. They may be cheap, but they are not short on taste. We promise you that.
On Thursday nights they host a local charity pub quiz, which are always good fun. While central, Ivy is also on the edge of an up and coming area, rebranded as Kandal Village, which is home to some very hip cafes, restaurants and shops. A good spot to be in.
By Nicky Sullivan
Last updated on 29th June, 2015.