Thailand has a number of curries, Laos has fewer options and then there is Cambodia. Cambodia may not have the culinary prowess that Thailand has earned its deserved reputation for, but then Thailand doesn’t have Amok; Cambodia offers a pork, beef and chicken option but the “traditional” choice is fish.
I’ve tasted a few examples of the patriotic Khmer dish and The Sugar Palm (Siem Reap, Taphul Road) served the best by far. The restaurant isn’t exactly “backpacker friendly” when it comes to budget but what it lacks in wallet damage it more than makes up for in ambience and taste. The first floor of the large wooden house entertains The Sugar Palm restaurant, the bamboo and stone sculptures probably came expected in a city that’s main attraction is made of the same material… if not a little older. The sight of Locals is a good sign in any eating establishment and The Sugar Palm delivered in this unique point on a backpackers checklist of eateries.
We met the good Danes we befriended in the Laos Islands (read here) and after a quick taxi ride… to which we could have walked (as Kire angrily pointed out) we were instantly sat at a table without a reservation.
The meal begun with some easy-going satay chicken and beef and the four of us almost argued as to how many pieces we’d each eaten. As “easy” as satay may be to make this example was probably the best I had ever had before and would have separated lesser friends.
Michelle opted for a Khmer curry a valiant choice, Caroline opted for a vegetable dipping affair to which it’s title eludes me (sorry Caroline). The men, of the most burley and of an almost foresight-ly wisdom chose Fish Amok.
Fish Amok is a curry for someone who will right about it and do it no justice what so ever; it isn’t exactly a typical curry in consistency, it’s actually more like a foam or a froth… I told you I would do no justice, some have likened its texture to a soufflé.
The curry is steamed in a banana leaf and this helps to get the foamy consistency… it was great and I would definitely recommend it!. If you find yourself in Cambodia or even in a Cambodian restaurant, where ever you find yourself do opt for the Fish Amok and expect the foamy goodness of a real Cambodian dish.