Jul 06 2013
Once upon a time in Never Never land… Oh no wait, that’s just the playful presentation of the drinks menu, filled with a selection of quality coffees and thick fruit shakes served in jam jars, found tucked into children’s story books at Sister Srey Cafe. Run by an affable Aussie sister duo, this creative twosome bring quirks not pretensions to the Siem Reap dining scene.
Recommended to me for its superb coffee and delicious homey food, a high bar had been set for this riverside eatery, excellently located right near the Old Market. Formerly Angkor Boddhi Tree, Sister Srey serves up Western fare with house-baked treats, sandwiches, salads and light bites — though perhaps the food, on the healthier end of the spectrum, is at times a touch too light for the prices.
Both originally hairdressers hailing from Melbourne, the familial ties imbue a relaxed and cheery vibe to the ambience as exemplified by the laminated hand-drawn placemats etched with positive quotes to make you smile on a rainy afternoon: “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely – Roald Dahl.”
A team of two, their two-floor venture is also a double act. The ground level is home to the informal cafe, while a narrow spiral staircase leads you up to “Twiggy”, their boutique and reading lounge. Here you’ll find a small collection of fun, flirty dresses, floaty shirts, vintage jewellery and spa products. While not priced to match your US$2 “Same Same But Different” T-shirt, it’s worth pointing out it is not all that easy to find Western-sized clothes that are up to speed with what the ever-changing world of fashion is doing outside of Cambodia, should you need to stock up.
Alternatively peruse the book collection and curl up in the rattan chairs, or perch on the bar stools overlooking the river as life goes on by. Despite a fairly full house, my food was served so speedily I hadn’t even noticed its arrival as I was still rifling through the fun fabrics and browsing the handcrafted products from local NGOs.
The food menu has a comprehensive breakfast section as it doesn’t stay open late (closes 19:00). The Sisters breakfast salad (US$4.50) sits vying for your attention next to the tempting eggs bene-delicious (US$4.50). Though the salads are tasty, such as the roasted pumpkin and walnut salad (US$6), since they sadly don’t come with bread those suffering pangs of hunger should opt for the more hearty sandwiches and burgers. I most recently tried the mango chicken burger (US$5.50). It was served with excellent chips but the burger itself slightly disappointed — then again there’s only so much you can do with a burger.
At Sister Srey Cafe I personally prefer the ambience to the meals, but would recommend it as a laidback place for a good brunch or for their selection of sweet treats as an alternative to Upstairs Cafe, also known for excellent coffee and indulgent cakes.
Sister Srey Cafe
200 Pokambor Ave, Siem Reap
T: (097) 723 8001
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.