Jan 20 2013

International food in Siem Reap: Part 1

Published by at 1:00 pm under Food & drink

The rest of the world may be coming late to Siem Reap, but this town hasn’t stinted when it comes to serving up top quality food from almost every corner of the globe and you can travel the world from here, provided you’re happy to use a plate instead of a magic carpet. We are still missing out on one continent, and hopefully we may see some African food here one day soon, but for the rest, well, there’s plenty from the world’s menus to satisfy everyone’s appetite.

Sitting pretty at Cafe Moi Moi

Sitting pretty at Cafe Moi Moi

Starting off in the near region, you can find good value, dependable, if not necessarily hugely exciting, Vietnamese food at The Soup Dragon on Pub Street, while Paris Saigon offers a romantic mix of Vietnamese and French classics in a very stylish, white tablecloth setting. For some excellent Burmese food check out The Mandalay Inn, a backpacker guesthouse that consistently receives high praise for the quality of its food and service.

It is freakishly difficult to think of a place that serves a proper menu of quality Thai food, which is weird as it’s one of the most popular cuisines in the world, just not in Siem Reap it would seem. For fans, most of the restaurants on and around Pub Street will serve something on the menu that is recognisably Thai, but if you like yours spicy, you may need to say so.

Heading further afield, fans of Japanese are very well catered to, though I regret to say that I have yet to really explore this culinary area. I have heard very positive reports from Japanese and non-Japanese friends alike on The Hashi, a beautiful and stylish restaurant that has just opened on Sivatha Boulevard, and serious sushi and sashimi fans are strongly advised to make their way to Sokha Angkor Resort, where they’ll find the best in town, albeit at a price. Cafe Moi Moi is in a very pretty location on Charles de Gaulle Avenue (don’t be put off by the surroundings, once you’re in the garden, it’s lovely). The menu is a mix of Japanese and Khmer, offering simple dishes done well. In town, the Yokohama restaurant on The Alley (beside Miss Wong) is a cool and kooky little hangout with a friendly, open atmosphere and delicious, good value food.

On the east side of the river, you’ll also find Moloppor Restaurant with a great riverside location and a menu that features an extensive list of good value small plates, including Japanese barbecue and dumplings. The restaurant is small, and the atmosphere usually pretty lively as it’s a popular hangout. The plates are cheap, and also small, but it’s fun to order lots and share.

For a little Chinese, you can head next door to the newly expanded Miss Wong, complete with a fresh and expanded menu. They’ve been working for months on getting the tastes just right on a small but fantastic menu that features sliders with duck or barbequed pork, lion head beef balls or delicious dim sum, and more, all perfect accompaniments to Miss Wong’s famous cocktails. Hungry devotees of sticky dumplings should head to The Loft where an extensive Chinese and Cambodian menu offers a large plate of the most delicious dumplings that are incredibly good value. You can also find here a great selection of Chinese soups, noodles and stir-fries.

They've got a real passion for pizza at Il Forno

They’ve got a real passion for pizza at Il Forno.

Fans of Italian food are truly spoiled for choice as well. Out of town, there is the long-running l’Oasi, with their lovely garden setting and delicious in-house cheeses and cured meats. Further in town, Mammashop is in a quiet, but growing, street near Central Market and sells a fantastic selection of cheeses, meats and other Italian treats. There is a cosy, air-conditioned dining area upstairs where you can tuck into some of Rosa’s delicious home-made pastas and sauces, baked dishes such as lasagne and melanzane, salads, desserts and, of course, a great selection of Italian wine. Just off Pub Street, Il Forno is a fabulous little spot that has, rightly, been immensely popular from the very first day they opened their doors. Their menu includes all the classics, but they also serve up specials such as a divine roast pork belly (a real treat), or a selection of tasty lunchtime sandwiches to get you over the midday hump if pizza or a pasta are a little too much for hot stomachs.

The Soup Dragon
Pub St
T: (063) 964 933

Paris Saigon
Samdech Tep Vong St
(Off East River Road)
T: (012) 605 780

Mandalay Inn
Psar Khroung St
T: (063) 761 622

The Hashi
Sivatha Blvd (Opposite Lucky Mall)
T: (077) 641 499

Sokha Angkor Resort
Junction of Route 6 and Sivatha Blvd
T: (063) 969 999

The Lane (beside Pub St)
T: (092) 637 053

Miss Wong
The Lane (beside Pub St)
T: (092) 428 332

The Loft
Sivatha Blvd

East River Rd
T: (092) 418 917

636 Hadgang St
T: (012) 833 985

Il Forno
Off Pub St
T: (078) 208 174

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One Response to “International food in Siem Reap: Part 1”

  1. […] busy traversing the world via Siem Reap’s food… we’ve covered half of it, so now we’re moving on: It is a dazzling reverse-curse that Siem Reap’s Indian restaurants […]

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