Staff Meal

There are two main categories of restaurant in Sieam Reap, ones that cater to tourists and their predilictions for sushi and Irish pubs and all other manner of highly inappropriate food themes for a Southeast Asian township located inland, and the other is the growing number of stalls, stands, restaurants and noodle carts selling to Siem Reap's rapidly emerging middle class of tourism workers.

We dined at two of these places whilst in SR with the Khmer chefs that Hock used to work with. One for lunch for with staff who had the day off, and one in the evening with the other lot of staff who had the evening off.

Lunch was held at a restaurant located on the outskirts of Siem Reap near the new Apsara Authority's head quarters and near a big field where there is a night market where a lot of families gather in the evening to eat and meet.

The restaurant is a rustic affair, with small bamboo open air huts set up as private dining rooms. Despite its rustic appearances the clientele is decidedly upscale Khmer with land cruisers and women in tight jeans and sparkling jewellery tippy toeing across the sandy earth towards their pre-booked dining hut.

We had beef intestine with kaffir and lemongrass. This was boiled and cold, chewy and not very nice.

Beef with accompanying vegetable and herbs



Chicken stir fried with lemongrass

and samlour machou chaloot prey (wild boar sour soup)

Plus lashings of sugary drinks and angkor beer


Since we left a number of the staff had had babies. Really really cute babies.

There were about 12 people present and the total bill came to much more than I expected. $70 US. I think this must have been either on account of the wild boar or that the price was bumped up due to the presence of barangs (foreigners)

The other place we ate was a Khmer owned pizza restaurant, called Red Pizza. The restaurant is owned by a former waiter at Hock's old work. During the last land price boom in Cambodia, he sold his land on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and made a tidy fortune. With the help of the chefs, he established a pizza restaurant replete with kids play area which is mainly patronised by local Khmers, especially tourism workers who have a newly acquired taste for bread and cheese. Red Pizza also has a pizza truck which sells pizza at the night market near the Apsara Authority


Plus the sell burgers


Play area

With KFC planning their first outlet in Siem Reap soon and Pizza Company from Thailand already in operation, Red Pizza seems to be holding its ground. The price was much more reasonable than the lunch restaurant, which was somewhat confusing given that the ingredients for pizza are mainly imported, but I wouldn't want to read too much into this from these two single occasions.


    I still don't understand the appeal that cold intestine dish. Do you think it's a texture thing?


    I have no idea, all I know is that I chewed and I chewed and my mouth got that weird furry feeling from the fat and I nearly gagged but then I smiled to everyone present in order to be polite and then I said "chnang na"


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