Start the day like a king
They say you should breakfast like a king, and they also say you should start the day as you mean to carry on.
So a right royal brekkie is clearly the only way to go or people will think you’re depressed. More to the point, temple hopping around Angkor and its surrounds is hard work, and a good breakfast will give you all the calories you need for clambering up Bayon and down Baphuon. Obviously, it’s often okay to just take what’s on offer where you’re staying, but true brekkie fans think bigger than that. Mega-fry bigger.
Oh yes, health nuts and vegetarians should look away now — we’ll do a posting on healthy brekkies soon. Promise. We know not why, but your guidebook will have failed to inform you that one of the most important reasons for coming to Cambodia is the bacon. It may seem strange, but I’m pretty sure there are expats who made the decision to stay here only because of the bacon. It’s amazing. Cambodian farmers can’t afford the steroids, antibiotics and pharmacopeia of horrors that pigs in other countries are injected with. And the meat industry is ill-equipped to take a toxic bacon brew and then pump it full of water, doubling price and halving what’s left of the flavour all at once. Instead, here you get bacon like it used to be, sinfully crisp and tasty.
And where are the best places to find this delight? Patience, and I’ll tell you.
Central Café has rightly earned a great reputation for its breakfasts. And the star of the show is the scrambled eggs with pesto and parmesan, a surprisingly delicious combination. They serve Lavazza coffee too, not to forget the other most important thing about breakfast. Add bacon on the side, or enjoy one of the fried breakfasts for a real splurge.
Rosy Guesthouse perfects the concept of the fry-up by including the one ingredient that so many forget: chips. That glorious fusion of a salted, crisp potato chip with sweet, soft, gooey egg is sublime and takes you straight back to being a kid again. We should also mention that eggs here taste like eggs used to do at home, before we got too clever for our boots. Their mega feast also includes toast, beans, some really yummy, herby sausages, tomatoes and, of course, bacon, making this our favourite for sure.
River View Café, what can I say? They said, “Did no-one warn you about that!? You know, no-one’s actually managed to finish it yet”, when the plate was put in front of me, prompting the eyes to pop out of my head. So, there’s your challenge. A teaser bowl of fruit salad starts the performance, and once that is done a stack of pancakes is presented with two blocks of butter skating across the top together with a generous boat of syrup. All this is simply foreplay however, with no Mickey Rourke in sight alas. Once, if, you have managed to polish those off, the main show arrives in the form of a huge plate of fried potatoes with onions, three fried eggs, bacon and not so much sausages as sausage burgers. We will reward anyone who writes in to say they’ve finished one of these with our eternal admiration.
Molly Malone’s mega-fry is another great contribution to the tradition. In Irish style pub, which takes one home and is also fantastic for people watching, you can enjoy a hearty plate of sausage, bacon, eggs, tomato, beans and toast. May the luck of the Irish shine bright on your way.
T: (012) 181 4001
# 0074, Phum Slor Kram
T: (063) 965 059
River View Café
632 Pokambor Ave
T: (063) 963 533
Nicky Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer (and aspiring photographer). She has lived in England, Ireland, France, Spain and India, but decided that her tribe and heart are in Cambodia, where she has lived since 2007 despite repeated attempts to leave. She dreams of being as tough as Dervla Murphy, but fears there may be a long way to go. She can’t stand whisky for starters. She was a researcher, writer and coordinator for The Angkor Guidebook: Your Essential Companion to the Temples, now one of the best-selling guidebooks to the temples.
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