Breakfast in Siem Reap

i didn’t check if any of the guesthouses in siem reap offered a bed & breakfast option as i reckoned we would be out early to try and catch sunrises at the temples anyway. and we hoped to get local breakfasts instead of having the american variety. when we asked our local driver what the national breakfast was, i was a little surprised to hear that it was pork & rice, noodle soups etc. not too different from the chinese community in m’sia then, i reckon. but malaysians generally love nasi lemak and regard it as the national dish anyway.

it was only after browsing through my travel photos that i realised i had baguettes for 3 of the 4 breakfasts i consumed in siem reap. i guess i am a safe traveller afterall. lol. it’s not that i didn’t want to try the soupy dishes but i reckon the heat and humidity became a deterrent. i was already sweating buckets as it is. our first two breakfasts were taken in the vicinity of the temples, after catching the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Our first khmer breakfast was taken at on of the restaurants opposite the temple itself, by the name of Angkor Reach Restaurant. Eager to be refreshed and awake, I ordered the local iced coffee and politikus ordered lemon juice. Her drink came out to be lime juice and over the days, i realised that cambodians generally label the kaffir lime as “lemon”. if you’re like me, and prefer lemons and calamansi to kaffir lime anytime, do take note of this.

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anyway she ordered rice noodles soup and i, fried rice with spices. once again, i am not sure of what spices were used in the fried rice but there were fresh basil leaves and what i would guess to be turmeric as the rice had a yellow tinge to it. still, it tasted delish. the rice noodles soup came with generous servings of pork slices and vegetables. i don’t remember the soup much, but the noodles were served with blanched bean sprouts and lime halves. we squeezed the juice onto the bean sprouts and had that with the pork slices which gave the meat a tart bite.

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on day 2, we had breakfast at one of the stalls – Mom Bayon Restaurant within the vicinity of the temples again, this time at Bayon in Angkor Thom. It was relatively early so the crowd was thin, and we could enjoy our meal slowly. I ordered the baguettes with the spanish omelette (eggs, cheese & onions) which was served with tomato & cucumber slices, a generous pat of butter and mixed salt & pepper. and politikus ordered pancakes with banana.

whilst waiting for our food to come, we sipped our coconut juice and people watched. an ice-delivery truck (actually a lorry carting huge blocks of ice) parked in front of the stalls and the men started sawing away at the ice blocks, before carrying the smaller blocks to the respective stalls. i was joking with politikus about what would happen if one of the blocks fell and the next thing we knew, one of the ice blocks had indeed fallen from the man’s arms. he just picked it up, dirt and all and placed it with the rest of them next to the coconuts. lol.

the pancakes came first, with golden syrup and freshly sliced bananas placed in between pancakes.it was quite heavenly as the pancakes were light & fluffy, and the banana slices complimented it very well. my baguette was lovely too, very fresh and i enjoyed sandwiching my omelette inside. it was a much needed power breakfast for us as we would cover 5 temples after that.

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on our last 2 days, we only bought baguettes from roadside sellers for a quick bite. on both days, we opted for the cheese version instead of the fatty pork one. they add in cucumber slices and some pickled greens (raw papaya & carrot, if i am not mistaken) which gives it a fresh bite. i’m sure the baguettes cost us more than the locals as we had prices quoted to us from 2,000 riels to USD1 each. but still, it was convenient & fast, and easy to bite into when we’re on the tuk-tuk. lol.

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