Cambodia is located between two of the best cuisines in the world, Vietnam and Thailand. Both of these Asian cuisines use a lot of different fresh spices and herbs and feature fresh vegetables combined together to create some fantastic taste combinations.
There are several of the Pho type Vietnam restaurants that you would find on any street in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh. This is a hot soup served usually with two different types of meat, and lots of fresh vegetables like peppermint and bean sprouts. They will normally have some condiments available like fish sauce and chili peppers that will bring tears the eyes of even the toughest of individuals. At the Pink Chairs named by the patrons as the restaurant doesn’t have a name that anyone has discovered in the past 10 years, one of the more popular dishes with the expats are, pigs feet, which I never though that I would try, but when a friend ordered it and I sampled it, I was hooked, which is a sad lament that is often heard by dieters that try this dish, as it is addictive Also some of these Vietnamese restaurants will serve frogs legs which believe it or not taste just like chicken only better. Some even sell dog but I just can’t go there, but I understand that the chicken tastes better. Expect to leave little food or money on the table when you leave with the average dish around $2.50
For Thai food there have been a couple of restaurants that have opened and closed for some crazy reasons, but all is not lost for Thai food in Sihanoukville, as we now have Klong Toi Nois which has started to take root downtown, at the Oceans Hotel in Sihanoukville.
They sell Thai street food in an astatically comfortable high ceiling setting, breezy, warm and chilled out would not quite describe it, and there is also outdoor seating available. Thai street food done properly qualifies as one of the genuine gourmet cuisines of the world. Noi an actual person and one incidentally originally from Klong Toi, the infamous Bangkok slum, brought with her to Sihanoukville a fellow cook, and together they produce their culinary treasures nightly.
The Tom Yam Khun, a classical Thai dish is a spicy shrimp soup, which in Noi’s hands becomes so light it is almost frothy. The Basil Chicken is tangy but at the same time surprisingly delicate; even something as simple as sautéed vegetables receives moans of approval and become a topic of conversation among tablemates. All the textures and aromas are folded into one another with techniques passed from grandmother to granddaughter and are blended in Noi’s kitchen with skill and grace. As with all fine dining the ingredients are critical. The fish, shrimp and crab are selected fresh off the boat every morning by Noi herself, and many of the spices are brought in from Thailand. Even so, true to its beginnings like all Thai street food, you will not need to spend your inheritance to get fed here, with the average plate going for only $3.00.