April 22, 2011

Lotus Blanc, Phnom Penh…go there not for the food but because you are doing something good for the disadvantaged young people who works there.

This reataurant is a training centre for aspiring young cambodian restaurant workers from poor families.

The food is nothing to shout about. We  had the deep fried prawn with tamarind sauce, glass noodle with seafood and seafood amok. The amok here tasted more like rendang –  a quintessential malay dish with Indonesian origins consisting of beef or chicken stewed in coconut milk and spices. The duck confit must have been the duck’s grandma – hard and tough meat. The fried snapper fish with creamy ginger sauce was not hot. Shame as it would have been a lovely dish if it was served piping hot.

Having said all that, I have to qualify that the service was very friendly.If you go to Lotus Blanc, go because you are doing something good for the disadvantaged young people…not for the food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

March 27, 2011

Khmer Surin Restaurant, Phnom Penh…there are other better choices in Phnom Penh

They claim authentic Khmer & Thai cuisine. The green mango salad was awfully sour and salty. We also had the omelette with dried salted fish (then again, every food item seem to have a bit of dried fish and prawns in them), stir fried bean sprouts and trai bang koo chait (a fish dish). The fish amok is served in little pots, each with a subtle difference of flavour. Frankly, there are other places to serving better tasting amok in Phnom Penh.

Housed in an old, wooden traditional building with plenty of greenery, the second level you are seated on cushions on the floor and low tables – Thai style and the third level is on the rooftop. The service is indifferent.

There are better choices in Phnom Penh for socially-conscious dining. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

February 9, 2011

Bopha Phnom Penh Restaurant & Titanic Lounge, Phnom Penh…pricey and disappointing food

Khmer food with a view of the river and watch Classical Aspara dancing . That’s the only thing this place has to offer.

We were disappointed with all the dishes we ordered: bopha appetizers festival which includes spring rolls, prawns fishtempura, chicken skewers and fish cakes. The angel hair noodle salad with chicken was also forgettable, as was the khmer chicken amok  and the grilled duck skewers. The seafood fried rice and khmer hot and sour soup also did not leave an impression.

The food was rather pricey and even the restaurant’s captivating decor doesn’t justify the price. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

February 7, 2011

Romdeng, Phnom Penh…delicious, authentic Khmer food in relaxed surroundings. This is a must must do!

The restaurant is staffed with incredibly friendly, attentive, poised and well-trained youth – mostly teens – formerly living on the streets! Here you get real Khmer food in relaxed surroundings of an elegantly converted colonial home.

The food was great. We had  koh kong style seafood amok, the appetisingly seductive “two colour pomelo salads with dried shrimps in coconut milk vinaigrette”, romdeng’s famous fish amok in banana leaf. A MUST HAVE is the rice flour and tumeric crepes filled with caramelized banana topped with coconut gelato dessert. It looked and tasted stunning. However, we would NOT recommend any beef dishes as we tried both and they were forgettable: the spiced beef soup with morning glory and fresh herbs, stir fried red tree ants with beef and holy basil.

Impressed on my first visit, I returned again on my last day in Phnom Penh before heading to the airport. This is a must must do. This is still the true truth because I am still saying it as it is…

February 6, 2011

Raffles Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh…disappointing room but very obliging staff

Filed under: Cambodia, hotel, Travel — Tags: , , , , , — PEr @ 8:57 pm

The room was a bit of a disappointment.  It was an old classic room which was facing the pool. There were not enough power points and that is  a major bummer for business travellers like us. The bathroom was tiled in white and had a bathtub and a shower corner with a glass door. There was a lack of bathroom amenities. The toilet flushes like a geyser. The maddening sound of the gushing water is followed by a upward splash of the toilet water. The jet was so strong, you literally would have to jump to avoid it or ready the umbrella which is provided in the room. (Now I know why they give you umbrellas in the room)

Breakfast was very nice. The meatballs were outstanding.

The best thing about this stay is the very obliging staff. Thy – a trainee – walked me to the gym one morning when I enquired directions to get there. Noemie Payumo, the restaurant manager, went out of her way to answer my enquiries.

This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

February 2, 2011

Genocide Museum TUOL SLENG, Phnom Penh…visit this to understand the shocking horrors of the Khmer Rouge madness

If you don’t have the time to visit the Killing Fields (located 14.5 kilometers) outside of the city, the Genocide Museum is accessible and educational. The museum is a very disturbing place to visit and a good way to learn more about the very important and eerily not-so-distant past of this country.

Tuol Sleng used to be a high school in a lovely residential neighbouthood but was transformed into a place of torture and death during the terrifying reign of Pol Pot. Tousands of people were brought here to be interrogated (tortured) by Khmer Rouge. Most were later taken to the nearby killing fields to be put to death.

There are pictures of all the victims and some of the horrible things done to them. You can still see some of the torture devices and traces of blood. The exhibits are labeled well in English. You will hardly believe the deep horrors the victims faced until you step into the blood-stained prison yourself and looking into their terrified eyes in the black and white photos. Your stomach may turn at some of the displays here.

It is essential to visit Tuol Sleng to understand the shocking horros ofthe Khmer Rouge madness. It’s the most profound museum experience I have ever been to. Your trip to Cambodia would not be complete if you miss this. It is a must see!

It’s unbelievable to think that all these atrocities happened in my lifetime, 1975-1979. If there is a hell, Pol Pot would be burning in the hottest corner. This is the true truth because I still say it as it is…

January 30, 2011

Malis Restaurant, Phnom Penh…never seen a place with an ambience like this in Cambodia

I like the ambience of  this place. In my opinion, surrounding-wise,  Malis is one of the leading Khmer restaurants in Phnom Penh. The surroundings are stylish and elegant, with outdoor sittings amongst Angkorian-inspired pools.

Food-wise, there are pluses and minuses. The prahok ktis (a dip made with ground pork, chillies, and fish sauce, served with steamed vegetables on the side) is great. The garlic eggplant is equally outstanding. The squid salad was not too great and the prawn cake’s skin was a bit too tough. Oh yes, one more thing, don’t bother with the desserts.

The staff, especially Kasmia Haschhoun (Guest relation) are super attentive and impeccably dressed.

A lovely place to just sit and talk….very nice. This is the true truth and I say it as it is…

January 29, 2011

Champei Spa & Salon, Phnom Penh…best spa experience in Phnom Penh

I can honestly say this is the best spa experience in Phnom Penh. The spa is fantastic quality polish and cheap (US$8 for an hour’s traditional Khmer massage).  It’s wonderfully designed to make you instantly feel at home and relaxed. Campei offers a full menu of body treatments for men and women.

Srey Py is a star masseure who is incredibly skilled, very strong and professional, although her English is not so good.  I absolutely enjoyed both the Khmer and oil massages she gave me.

Take the 1 or 2 hours there and relax! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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