[Siem Reap, Cambodia] Lunch at Rohatt Cafe, King's Road


(Peter) #1

Rohatt Cafe is located in the well-designed King’s Road complex, a collection of restaurants & handicraft shops on Achar Sva St., next door to Hard Rock Cafe Siem Reap. Despite its somewhat “touristy location”, Rohatt Cafe’s food is the closest to authentic Cambodian I’d found in that area - very near the Old Market (Psar Char) and the infamous Pub Street (Siem Reap’s version of Khao San Rd in Bangkok).

We ordered some basic local dishes for a light lunch:

  1. Prahok Kroeung Kh’tih - a spicy, creamy prahok (fermented fish sauce) dip with minced pork (like Thai khao tang na tang), served with a selection of raw vegetables like long beans, cabbage, cucumber, baby eggplant & saw-tooth mint. We rather enjoyed the version here - the dip was slightly on the salty side, but pretty flavoursome, with pea eggplants floating on top, and sufficient coconut milk to lend it a rich flavour.

  1. Amok Trei - we finally found a version served the way it should be served: with a delicate custardy texture, unlike the soupy, thin curry version served to the foreigners/overseas tourists at the Pub Street/Old French Quarter area. Sure, the flavours here are still not as pronounced as I’d expected (e.g. as in Thai hor mok), but I’m a virtual novice where Cambodian food is concerned. Pleasingly, amok trei here is a served with a side of stir-fried water spinach with garlic & fish sauce here - a nice touch.

  1. Kho - soy-braised pig’s trotters with hard-boiled egg & tofu puffs. This is a very common home-cooked dish for the Southern Chinese and is comfort food for me. Done very well here.

What I really appreciated about Rohatt Cafe is that it offers simple dishes, done very well and with somewhat familiar flavours. This place is definitely a keeper.

Address
Rohatt Cafe
Achar Sva Street, King Road
Krong Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia
Tel: +855 93 888 500
Opening hours: 7am to 11pm daily


#2

This looks like the meal that I would like to have, look at that fish amok, it was huge and quite lovely. Love water spinach or morning glory, they eat a lot there.

This is an interesting observation. I watched a TV program on how the Cambodians at present days try to search for old and traditional recipes, which many were destroyed during the internal war, including connoisseurs were killed. During the war, people had nothing much to eat, not to talk about fine food. The knowledge are lost in generations. Some of the material can be slowly traced back from the returning overseas Cambodians. I think they need time to reconstruct and to rebuild their own identity in cuisine.


(Peter) #3

Ditto in China post-Cultural Revolution, the traditional master-apprentice arrangement to pass down old recipes were lost when many master chefs were either killed or forced to undergo “re-education” in communal farms or labour camps. Subsequently, many lost recipes were found in Taiwan and other South-East Asian countries where the overseas Chinese diaspora lived.
But for decades, and even up to 2000s, what you can mainly find in Beijing or Shanghai were very rustic, almost peasant-like fare.