After months of exploring and comparing the capital’s abundant eateries with my food-obsessed girlfriend, I say this with confidence: Forget the more well-known restaurants catering to tourists. If you want to try Phnom Penh’s best Khmer cuisine, go to Kraya Angkor.
Co-owner Ly San spent years traveling across Cambodia and interviewing people to compile recipes that, like much of the nation’s cultural heritage, were threatened by oblivion after decades of war and dislocation.
The result is a wide-ranging tour of the country’s flavors and ingredients, with a voluminous menu showcasing a diverse array of rich soups, tangy salads and meaty dips.
I have yet to order something that did not make me exclaim with delight. But favorites include the Na Tang, sweet ground pork served with crispy rice cakes, and the fish salad, leaf-wrapped explosions of citrusy herb-and-fish flavor.
Menus with helpful English translations and pictures are available. Portions are large. It’s a bit more pricey than some places at $6 to $9 a dish but worth the extra money. #60BEo, St. 63, near Boeung Keng Kang market. (Jeremy White)
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