Chamkar Vegetarian Restaurant
Chamkar, a vegetarian but very vegan friendly restaurant, serves up mild Khmer food in a small alleyway behind the Old Market in Siem Reap. It's surrounded by a multitude of restaurants, but Chamkar's guests seem to shun the alternatives and return for several meals (in my case, three in a row). While some dairy is used there's no meat, fish, eggs nor MSG in the kitchen, and the lovely chap who served me absolutely understood the concept of vegan. They're also keen on the concept of slow food, which is appealing to me in this age of eat and run. Definitely stop by Chamkar, grab an outside table, and watch the world go by while enjoying one of Siem Reap's best veggie finds.
Creamy coconut and mushroom dip with toasted peanuts served with Cambodian baguette.
I ordered this as a starter for lunch one day, and it was big enough for a whole meal. It's served with an entire baguette, sliced chilies, and chunky coconut mushroom dip.
Discover the sweetness of an original soy bean dressing mixed with green salad and Khmer crudités and topped with roasted cashew nuts and silken tofu.
Mango and papaya slivers adorn the plate alongside a bed of fresh greens and sesame dotted silken tofu rounds. The name of the dish is what caught my eye on the menu, and as I'm a lover of salads this went down a treat after a long day on a bus.
Sweet potato and cherry tomato red curry with coconut milk and the unique taste of Khmer cardamom.
I was in the region for a total of about 3.5 weeks and out of everything this dish ranks in my top five. The flavours are delicate, perfectly balanced, with Khmer pepper playing a starring role.
I also enjoyed a cassava fritter dish with yellow curry paste as well as a banana and coconut milk pudding with toasted yellow beans, both of which were amazing. Cambodia is, without a doubt, one of my favourite countries in the world, and when I return Chamkar will be one of my first stops. After all I need to try everything else on the menu.