Green Star Restaurant
Dining for a cause
What we say:
About a five- to 10-minute walk from Pub Street it doesn’t take long to leave the bustle behind and find the laidback, local ambiance at not-for-profit Green Star restaurant.
What could be a year-round Christmas decoration is actually a bright green beacon to lead you to this otherwise unassuming typical Khmer townhouse; the neon green lights that adorn the gate outside match the restaurant’s name.
The entrance leads you straight onto the outdoor patio area, which is brimming with red plastic chairs and relatively closely-packed tables that enable you to get chatting with your fellow diners, if you wish. The vibe is unfussy and relaxed, where you can strike up a conversation with the affable Khmer and Australian owners as you tuck into the dishes from the menu – one of authentic, unostentatious Khmer fare, pure and simple.
A fine-dining epicurean experience it is not, but this doesn’t stop the place drawing in the punters (bar Sundays, when it’s closed) at lunch and dinner as there’s nothing prohibitive about the local prices. The mains are full of flavour and cost around US$3 – we particularly enjoy the corn kernels and prawn and pork croquettes.
A favourite haunt among expats, volunteers and tourists alike, the food tastes good and leaves an even better taste given the knowledge that this is a successful social enterprise: all profits are donated to the NGO Greek Gecko. A couple of posters with kids beaming smiles remind you of this fact, a helpful overview of the project is provided along with the menu and the hand-written ‘specials’ board lists giving a Green Gecko kid a meal as one option worth considering.
With minimal decoration, this is a great place to come if you want to try Khmer food in a local-style environment – even though word got out and as such most customers don’t appear to be Cambodian.
The prices compared to the Western, tourist-targeted restaurants are good value, though portions aren’t overly enormous. Local establishments like beer gardens and street vendors offer a similar ambiance and though they may be able to compete on price, they would struggle to come close to the philanthropic achievements of this social enterprise. However, good food that’s very fairly priced means it doesn’t need to rely on its do-good goals to be able to come out on top as a great dining option in Siem Reap.
If helping out by eating out sounds appealing, head round the corner to swankier Tangram Gardens or plan ahead and book into one of our favourites in Siem Reap, Haven Training Restaurant; or see our earlier compilation of charity restaurants.
Contact detailsEnd of Wat Bo Rd, Siem Reap
T: (092) 255 241
Open: Mon-Sat, 11:30-14:00, 17:30-late
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