What to eat & drink when in Phnom Penh

— 5 minute read

This post is purely a recommendation by a local Phnom Penh resident. So the taste is pretty much local. My top recommended places to taste local food is at a local market. Or at a home of your Phnom Penh's friend. The taste would be unbeatable. You cannot get this kind of food taste at the retaurant. When you're in Phnom Penh either for a short or long stay, you may be wondering what food you should try.

Question: Khmer food? While Amok is much better known as something called authentic Khmer food, there are some more dishes you should know. I’m not just talking about Prohok. Cambodian people eat cooked crickets, ants, snakes, among other things.

Rice is the most important cereal, as in other Southeast Asian countries. Fish from the Mekong River and Tonle Sap are an important part of the diet.

Khmer cooking rules include fruit, juice, and dumplings. The main ingredients are lemongrass, lime, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, caramel, ginger, ginger, olive oil, coconut milk and pepper.

Eat Khmer Food to Feel Cambodian

Khmer food doesn't have the global brand name just yet. But it's just a matter time that Cambodia will take its authentic Khmer food to the international arena. Have you ever heard of fish Amok? It's very Cambodian dish popularly served at air-conditioned restaurants.

Want to smell Prohok? Cambodia's iconic salted fish paste favorable by the majority of ordinary Cambodians, Prohok is a must-taste if you really want to know what it's like to live a Cambodian life.

If you can eat Prohok for the first time, you'll be good the next time. But if you couldn't taste it, forget it, you'll never ever understand why Cambodian people live and eat this their entire life.

What are the secrets of cooking delicious Khmer food?

Eat and drink

My favorite breakfast is: Bay Srob or steamed rice with pork and egg. It's a common breakfast for most people in Cambodia. It's also cheap and easy to get on the street.

Drinks: Coconut juice and cane juice are great and cheap. Fresh sugar palm juice to cool yourself down.

Eat seafood One of the best places to eat seafood in Toul Kork is Sonivid Fresh Seafood Restaurant. This restaurant is popular among Phnom Penh residents for its good seafood. Craving for crabs or squids, you can order the dish you wish. At Sonivid Fresh Seafood Restaurant, you get a good taste as if you're at the Crab Market in Kep or beach town Sihanouville. The Toul Kork branch of Sonivid is part of an expansion of the restaurant as it has various locations in Phnom Penh. The prices for the dishes are quite reasonable, too. There are other seafood restaurants like Ratana Srey Mao on the Boulevard.

TK Avenue is located on the corner of streets 315 and 516. In the mall, you can shop for Adidas shoes and shirts, Pedro footwear, and groceries and fresh food (Lucky Supermarket). There, you can sip a cup of Brown Coffee, or even watch latest movies in the Legend Cinema. Or you just need a bun to bite, BreadTalk (not just to mention The Pizza Company) is just there. In November 2016, Starbucks Coffee nearly finishes its fourth store, which is not surprisingly situated in the TK Avenue.

A List of Coffee Shops in Phnom Penh With Fast Internet

Once a quiet district of Phnom Penh city, TK Avenue is an addition of shopping spree area for the residents in Tuol Kork. Unlike the Aeon mega mall in Chamkarmon district, TK Avenue is quite unique in its offerings and space: an open-air mall that hosts a good number of high-end luxury shops and restaurants. Metro Restaurant is just on the corner as you enter the TK Avenue.

Since its official opening in 2013, TK Avenue has proved to be a successful mall in Tuol Kork (sometimes spelled Tuol Kouk or Kok, which means the ground hill). The evidence is that this year Phnom Penh will soon have the second mega mall Aeon in the Pong Peay City near Toul Kork. The construction of Aeon 2 will be completed by 2018.

What makes TK Avenue so popular because there are a lot of schools, universities, and commercial banks in this suburb. Zaman University is just a few walks from the Avenue. Western International Schools (WIS) and American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP) are also in this area.

What you may not know: While TK Avenue is a good place to shop conveniently, there are some good places to buy good stuff nearby. So be sure to walk away from the Avenue if you've got spare time to explore this area. Chances are that you will get some cheaper household products for less than $2 each. You can imagine that there are more small shops and locals in this area who want to offer better goods, but they can never afford the rental fee for a small store inside the TK Avenue.

A few walks away from the TK Avenue, there is a new mall called Samai Square. It's located on Street 337, Sangkat Boeung Kok 1, Khan Toul Kork. The premium food mall is a just new addition to the terrific Tuol Kork district.