3 hottest restaurants to dine at in Siem Reap this year

Local dishes in Siem Reap

Food exploration

Much like the temples of Angkor Wat which provide a sanctuary for its devotees, Siem Reap is very much an oasis for guests visiting Cambodia. With a good mix of culture and modern comforts, the northwestern town bustles with life, intriguing those who wish to learn more about the country after paying a visit to the temples.

During my short visit, I hopped from one restaurant to another, satisfying my curiosity and hunger for both local and foreign cuisine (with a local twist, no doubt), narrowing it down to just three places worth second visits.

And oh, while you’re at it, spend a night or two at Shinta Mani Siem Reap. The hotel lies right smack in the city, where the action takes place.

Hot Rod
As you walk in, you can’t help but be wowed by the giant face of Buddha projected on the opposite wall. For a moment, I wonder if I’ve stumbled into a temple by mistake. When the dishes arrive though, I know I’m in good hands. Hot Rod sells a clever blend of Thai and Khmer cooking, served tapas-style. You’ll find mouthwatering skewers, mini bowls and vegetarian platters on the list. These are all paired perfectly with concoctions from its cocktail menu. The restaurant has given classic cocktails a twist, such as using crushed jackfruit in You Don’t Know Jack, and stirring in Sriracha sauce into its Bloody Mary.

Hot Rod
Junction of Sok San street and the city center of old market area
Krong Siem Reap
00000 Cambodia
Tel: +855 81 880 023

Kroya
Shinta Mani Siem Reap’s signature restaurant Kroya offers a modern take on traditional Khmer cuisine. The seven-course degustation menu is a good introduction to local fare, even if the presentation is a little dressed up. It is also a great place to chill out in the hotel after a hectic day out exploring the sights, especially with a cold glass of bubblies, stretched out on one of the massive table-size Khmer swings at its outdoor swing terrace.

Shinta Mani Siem Reap
Junction of Oum Khun and Shinta Mani Street
Krong Siem Reap
00000 Cambodia
Tel: +855 63 761 998

The Steakhouse at Pub Street
I’ll be honest. Among the many restaurants I’ve tried, it was hard to put a finger as to why I wanted to recommend this place so badly. And then it hit me. Travellers sometimes experience a strange phenomenom, what I’d term ‘local food fatigue’. Having eaten local fare for days or weeks on end, this is the place to go to when you decide to take a break from fish amok and deep fried insects. The classic American steakhouse serves different cuts of beef, including a Wagyu sirloin. Take your pick of sides to go with your steak, including truffle fries and creamed spinach.

The Steakhouse at Pub Street
Between The Passage and Street 9
Krong Siem Reap
00000 Cambodia
Tel: +855 63 965 501

Shinta Mani Siem Reap
From the muted colours and an intimate reception, to lush greenery and water features like reflection pools and spouting fountains, Shinta Mani Siem Reap provides a peaceful and tranquil haven for weary travellers. With only 39 guestrooms spread over two wings, the hotel never feels crowded. In fact, the only time you’re likely to see fellow guests would be at breakfast.

The hotel, through its philanthropic organisation, the Shinta Mani Foundation, supports responsible tourism. Started by Sokoun Chanpreda, founder and hotel owner, the foundation works towards enhancing the lives of the locals in communities where the hotels operate. A percentage of the daily room rate goes towards funding activities which include education, healthcare, direct assistance and wildlife conservation.

Shinta Mani Siem Reap
Junction of Oum Khun and Shinta Mani Street
Krong Siem Reap
00000 Cambodia
Tel: +855 63 761 998

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Published 12th May 2017
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