Jenkins and I took a brief detour from Malaysia to hang out in Cambodia for a few days. Specifically, we wanted to go see Angkor Wat and the other ruins of Angkor and since we were closeby in Malaysia, we were able to make our schedule work. I have to admit that since we were returning back to Malaysia for the final leg of our trip and since it was Penang specifically, I was a bit worried about eating something funny while I was in Cambodia that would prevent me from eating all the goodies I wanted to try out in Penang. As a result, Jenkins and I tried to play it safe and weren’t as adventurous as we normally were. For our first dinner, we ate in an area of Siem Reap known as Pub Street. The food was slightly more expensive and was frequented by tourists and other foreigners but the front desk at our hotel told us the food was quite tasty.
Since it was totally sweltering outside, we cooled down with some Coke. I liked how they were served in old school bottles.
After spending our whole day wandering and hiking around ancient temples at Angkor, Jenkins and I were pretty hungry so we decided to share some spring rolls in addition to our main dishes. The spring rolls were quite crispy and almost tasted like giant versions of lumpia. They were stuffed with pork and some crunchy veggies. The dipping sauce was similar that used for Vietnamese spring rolls but was less sweet than what I was accustomed to.
Our guide recommended that we try out the amok curry, which is a traditional Khmer dish. Although deemed to be curry by the menu, it was quite different from other curries that I’ve had. It was not spicy at all and also seemed drier and less saucy than most curries. It had a combination of different veggies, including potatoes, bean sprouts, and some leafy greens that I wasn’t familiar with. It also had some small chicken chunks and egg. Everything was tied together with a little bit of coconut milk. I quite enjoyed this curry even though the flavours were quite new to me and it went really well with rice.
We also decided to share some fried noodles. The rice noodles were fried with some chicken, eggs, and choy sum veggies. Both Jenkins and I thought this dish tasted almost Chinese in its flavours but we weren’t sure if this was normal. It didn’t taste too bad but we both thought that the noodles were too oily.
Jenkins and I had an interesting foray into the world of Cambodia food, where our only previous experience was at Phnom Penh in Chinatown. When we told our guide about the dishes we had at Phnom Penh, he explained to us that those dishes were more Chinese Cambodian rather than the regular Cambodian fare. We found that pretty interesting so we were definitely looking to trying out some other items during our short stay in Siem Reap.