Dec 15 2012
If fish amok is not your idea of a traditional Christmas dinner, there are other alternatives in Phnom Penh over the holiday season. Although turkeys are not indigenous to Cambodia, several restaurants are offering a festive spread to ensure your tastebuds know it’s Christmas. Top it off with some carols and candles, and you’ll be feeling merry in no time (or that might just be the mulled wine…)
To get you in the mood, La Gasolina on Street 57 will be holding Carols by Candlelight on Friday December 14, 18:00-20:30. Bring along a candle and your best singing voice for family-friendly fun. Mince pies and mulled wine will make you feel that perhaps it really is Christmas.
Hagar Restaurant is a social enterprise providing employment for disadvantaged women. Which means you can feel like you’re making a contribution while you plough through their Christmas buffet dinner, including prawn cocktail, roasted chicken, pumpkin soup, beef wellington and cheeseboard. $16 a head served from 18:00 on December 24 and 25.
The Green Vespa is a British Irish pub on the riverside known for good food and good craic. From Monday December 24 to 26 they will be serving a four-course Christmas dinner, including smoked salmon, roast turkey, gammon ham and Christmas pudding. $25 for four courses or $17.50 if you only fancy the main plate.
Himawari Hotel Apartments will have carol singers, a nativity play and a visit from the man in red on Christmas Eve, alongside an international buffet at $60++ for adults ($18++ for kids under 13). There’s also a Christmas Day brunch from 12:30 to 16:00 at $30++ including a glass of bubbly.
If you’ve got the budget to splurge, try one of the five-star hotels in town. The Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeetra‘s Christmas Eve buffet from $45 includes a visit from Santa, or stuff your face at the Italian-themed five-course dinner (18:00 to 22:00, $60++ for adults, $30++ for kids). On December 25, Santa will be at brunch again at La Coupole restaurant ($60++ includes unlimited champagne). Price includes use of the pool, so you can work up an appetite or work off those desserts.
Raffles Hotel Le Royal win my award for most tasteful decorations (admittedly there’s not much competition in a country where overstated, glittery and lit-up are everyday design choices). Get yourself in the mood at High Tea with carols sung by the Khmer Children’s Choir (December 16 and 23, 16:00-17:00). On Christmas Eve, choose between the European Christmas Market Dinner at Cafe Monivong (18:00 to 22:00, $98++ with soft drinks or $118++ with unlimited wine) or the five-course Tableside Ecuyer Tranchant Dinner in Restaurant Royal (18:30-22:30, $125++ or $175++ including wine pairing). There’s a Santa Claus Buffet Brunch on Christmas Day (12:00 to 15:00, $90++ up to $145++ if you choose unlimited Taittinger Rose Champagne), a five-course French Christmas Specialities at Restaurant Le Royal (18:30 to 22:30, $165++ including wine pairing) and a Christmas Night Market Buffet from 18:00 at $100++ with unlimited wine. Remember that the hotels’ prices will have a 5% service charge and government taxes added on (yes, that’s what ++ means).
Wherever you choose to mark the occasion, be sure to get in the habit of wishing everyone you meet a “Happy merry Christmas!” for a truly Cambodian touch.
95 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
T: 012 887228
44 Street 310, BKK1, Phnom Penh
T: 010 333095
Himawari Hotel Apartments
313 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh
T: 023 214555
56 Street 57, BKK1, Phnom Penh
Raffles Hotel Le Royal
92 Rukhak Vithea Daun Penh, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh
T: 023 981888
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
26 Old August Site, Sothearos Blvd, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Phnom Penh
T: (023) 999 200
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