Sunday, 23 February 2014

weekend in siem reap

Those of you that follow me on twitter will know that I recently went on a trip to Siem Reap in Cambodia. I had never been to Cambodia and really didn't know what to expect. The purpose of our visit, as it is for many, was to visit the temple 'ruins' of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and around. We spent our days cycling around on rental bikes stopping to explore the temples that we found along the way. It was wonderful being out of hectic city life and being reminded that there is another life beyond the city.

Of course no visit anywhere is complete with out some foodie treats. So in the evenings we headed into the town in search of food and drink. Siem Reap is a relatively small city but there are lots of great food options there to be found. As we were only in the country for a few days and it was my first visit, I wanted to get an understanding of Cambodian food and flavours. On our first night we enjoyed a great dinner at the Cambodian BBQ. There are similar versions of this dining experience around the region but here they bring a bucket of hot coals to your table, put a kind of hot pot / griddle over the heat and then bring you dishes of meat, vegetables, noodles and rice. The idea is to grill the meat over the central part of the griddle allowing the cooking juices to fall down into the moat of stock below. In the mean time you would be cooking fresh rice oodles and pieces of pumpkin or other vegetables in the developing broth, occasionally ladling some out to eat. The waiting staff will keep topping up your noodle, vegetable and broth supplies until you can take no more! It's a great fun and sociable way to eat and I'll definitely be seeking out other Cambodian style BBQ places when I get chance.

The next night we wanted to try some classic Khmer cooking and headed to The Sugar Palm. This is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Siem Reap and Gordon Ramsey has even visited to learn how to cook traditional amok.

Anyway, we had cycled the best part of 30 miles and felt we had earned a feast for dinner so ordered plenty. We enjoyed the Beef Skewers marinated with lemongrass, pomelo salad with pork, shrimp, mint and coconut, chargrilled aubergine/eggplant with pork and finally Amok Trey. Every dish we had at The Sugar Palm was delicious and next time we're in Siem Reap I will definitely be coming back. 

Check out my version of amok trey here. 

Amok Trey

Spring Rolls

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