Khmer Kitchen is another of those restaurants in Siem Reap that was recommended to me for authentic Khmer fare. It was only after I got back to KL and googled this place that I found out Mick Jagger visited this place and recommended it on The New York Times. We’re in good company then, lol.
We arrived past lunch time and found the unassuming place quiet and empty. but word is, it gets packed at night! the deco is simple, using mostly rattan chairs. the menu is simple and gives one many choices of either beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or fish etc. i was quite excited to see that they offered steamed dumplings which could very well be the cambodian must eat “spring onion dumpling”.
the dumplings were filled with chives and mengkuang (jicama/yam beans) instead. we have something similar here, which locals called chai kueh (菜粿). My grandmother makes them too, but her version looks somewhat like this, elongated and ingot-shaped instead of round.
We ordered beef loc lac, which is essentially marinated beef stir-fried with soy sauce despite the exotic sounding name. The beef slices were served with fresh lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and a fried egg. An accompanying dip tasted tangy and salty, which i suspect to be lime juice, sugar & pepper mixture. I didn’t know that the correct way to eat it was to wrap the beef slices in lettuce and then dipping the bundle into the lime sauce. i just dipped the beef into the sauce and ate it with rice. lol.
Pumpkin seems to be a firm favourite with the patrons here as we saw quite a bit of pumpkin dishes on the menu. Being a huge fan, I ordered the baked pumpkin with shrimp. And I wasn’t disappointed. Baked together with shrimps, onion, julienned carrots, garlic in a custard-like texture, i loved it with my white rice. the chicken tom yam soup was a later addition and had generous chunks of chicken meat in it. i wished it was hotter (both in spiciness & temperature) though.
the quiet atmosphere and the laidback service was something we enjoyed that afternoon. great place for unwinding, while having great food.
Khmer Kitchen Restaurant
Alley behind Bar Street,
Old Market Area,