To serve the millions that flock to see the Angkor Wat, culinary prowess in Siem Reap has taken to new heights. Just as you will not be able to see all the temples within your visit to Siem Reap, or get templed-out too soon, there are way to omany restaurants in Siem Reap to sample them all. We’ve complied a list of the 5 best restaurants in Siem Reap that are worth visiting for a culinary adventure into Cambodian cuisine.
A little off the main tourist stomping grounds near Wat Polanka pagoda is Marum. This hospitality training restaurant run by Friends International is set in a traditional wooden Khmer house that features a outdoor patio seating area and a leafy garden. The fifth of its kind, Marum follows on the tradition of its sister restaurants serving tapas-style dishes of local fare but with a twist. Fusion is the theme that runs across its menu which happens to constantly change. If the spotlight shone more brightly on one particular dish, the red tree ant fritter would be it. Portions are relatively small as is with a tapas-styled restaurant, so you do need to order a few dishes to share. Marum wouldn’t be considered a budget dining option for Siem Reap standards, but neither is it pricey. If you have a palate for a creative experience, this is certainly a place to go on your list.
Touich is not your typical family run restaurant. Its managed to position itself in a unique category of restaurants with all the nicety of a family run business but yet feels very professionally run. It offers both western and local fare to patrons who fill its cozy dining floor almost every evening. The Salted Grilled Red Snapper is a must try if you ever find yourself here and their beef steak is arguably one of the best in town. Local fares are also popular and share the same affection from customers. For the experience you will get in Touich, in both food and service, it is a relatively inexpensive option and certainly well worth a visit. Although the location is a bit obscure, you can call the restaurant to arrange a tuk tuk to pick you up. They will even send a original 1950’s jeep from the war times if it isn’t already picking up someone else.
Celeb chef Johannes Rivieres’s Cuisine Wat Damnak is a popular Siem Reap institution that has been delighting its patrons with fresh local cuisine ever since its inception. It takes local flavors and favorites to a whole different level – an exciting culinary experience not to be missed. Cuisine Wat Damnak focuses on Cambodian ingredients and recipes but executes them with what can only deemed as French flair and gives a totally new interpretation to local flavors. The restaurant features a seasonal menu based around market – fresh ingredients, thus giving rise to their signature two set menus (five courses for $17 and six courses for $24). You might begin to wonder why the limitation, but trust us, you’re in good hands!
When Gordan Ramsey visited Cambodia to learn the ways of the Khmer flavors, he settled in on The Sugar Palm to learn Kethana Dunnet’s famed souffled amok. And for good reasons. Set in a stunningly preserved Khmer villa, and just a short five minute tuk tuk ride from town, The Sugar Palm is a favorite among expats and travelers alike who have a keen sense of appreciation for authentic local cuisine. Add to that, the restaurant offers a romantic evening setting in its spacious and airy veranda. While you place an order for their fish amok, make sure you also have the chargrilled eggplant with minced pork to the list. While its not the cheapest option in town, the ambiance, service and food definitely makes it worth your while.
Cafe Indochine greets patrons with a classic 1930s Citroen on the ground floor of its beautiful wooden house villa. The restaurant offers classic Khmer dishes such as fish or chicken amok, beef loc lac, sour soups and all the other usual suspects one would except. Its definitely a treat to try out the local fares in a slightly elevated fashion. French and Italian dishes also feature in the menu. But many come here for their steak which is locally sourced and according to their manager, is good as any beef they were previously importing from Australia. A bold claim that has certainly won the hearts of its customers.