Refuelling after a morning of sightseeing is an easy feat in Phnom Penh, with the capital dotted with dining options. If you fancy eating local, here are 10 amazing lunch spots to sample.
Run by Cambodian celebrity chef, Luu Meng, Malis serves up fine Khmer cuisine given a contemporary twist, which Meng dubs as living Cambodian cuisine. With many of Cambodia’s traditional recipes wiped out during the Khmer Rouge regime, Meng has made it his mission to revive the unique flavours his homeland is famous for. A hearty menu is bursting with delicious local dishes, such as Kampot crab fried rice, baboo shoot and smoked fish soup, and fish head amok. Set menu options are also available.
Running as one of two training schools for NGO Friends International’s hospitality and chef students, Friends the Restaurant cooks up a range of creative tapas dishes, all centred around contemporary Cambodian cuisine. Dishes include palm sugar and cinnamon braised duck leg with cranberry orange relish, prawn and glass noodle salad with fresh herbs and chilli lime dressing, and sun-dried tomato hummus with crispy wontons.
Nestled in a tropical garden, this laidback eatery serves authentic and delicious casual Khmer cuisine. Boasting a cosy and comfortable atmosphere, Eleven One Kitchen cooks up a range of local treats – with a bargain set lunch menu to boot. As well as a plethora of rice and noodle dishes, soups and curries, a three-course lunch meal with meat costs $4.95 and $3.95 for fish or vegetarian alternatives. Wash it down with a fresh fruit smoothie or coconut.
Specialising in authentic Khmer and Asian cuisine, diners can enjoy their food in the tropical garden or air-conditioned glass section. The menu takes in a range of delights, including grilled betel leaf with marinated beef, Khmer red chicken curry, blue Mekong prawns and Kampot pepper squid. It also serves daily and weekly specials.
Boasting super-friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere, Kabbas offers a range of traditional local food, at affordable prices. Think creamy fish amok, Khmer salads and curries, spicy sweetcorn fritters and mung bean desserts. A nice touch is the walls are filled with drawings and messages left by very satisfied customers.
Putting a modern spin on Cambodian comfort food, Phka Slaa presents a rang of delicious dishes that are served in style. Offering a range of breakfast options, the cool contemporary setting is a great place to indulge in a leisurely lunch and sits right around the corner from the Royal Palace and National Museum, making it the perfect spot to take a break from sightseeing.
This delightful diner serves up a range of Asian and European dishes, with plenty of local lunches to feast on. A set lunch menu changes weekly and for $7 diners can enjoy a starter and main course from the selected menu. Options include squid with green pepper, salmon and chickpea salad, and deep fried spring rolls.
Specialising in vegan and vegetarian Khmer food, this is a great leafy lunch spot for those seeking some non-meat dishes. sweet potato and pumpkin soup, beetroot spinach and orange salad, banana tofu coconut curry, and Khmer tom yum. There is also a kids’ menu, making it a great place for the family.
Spread across three floors, each offering its own atmosphere, Khmer Surin serves authentic Khmer food in sumptuous surroundings. The ground level is a great spot to enjoy breakfast, and people-watch from among the tropical foliage. Traditional Cambodian food can be enjoyed throughout lunch, taking in salads, steamed dishes, curries, soups and fried options.
This family-run restaurant, located in Anise Hotel, serves a range of Southeast Asian specialities, with an obvious firm focus on Cambodian cuisine. All the usual local lunch dishes are on offer, including a range of rice and noodle dishes, authentic Cambodian curries – which are much milder and sweeter than its neighbours – and seafood options.
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