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

Rohatt Cafe is an atmospheric & rather pretty two-storey eatery 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 unabashedly touristy location, Rohatt Cafe’s food offerings are the closest to authentic Cambodian that we’d been able to find during our week-long stay here so far.

It’s located very near the Old Market (Psar Char) and the infamous Pub Street (Siem Reap’s version of Bangkok’s rowdy Khao San Road).

For our lunch today, we opted for some basic local dishes:

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

  1. Amok trei - my personal favourite Cambodian food item, and here, we finally found a version cooked the way it should be: with a delicate custardy texture, unlike the soupy, thin curry versions served to the mainly foreign tourist clientele at the Pub Street/Old French Quarter area. Siem Reap is so touristy nowadays that it was actually easier for one to find “authentic” Cambodian cooking in Oakland, California, than here!

Thoughtfully, the amok trei here is a served with a side of stir-fried water spinach with garlic & fish sauce here. It provided a nice textural contrast which complemented the mousse-like richness of the amok.

  1. Kho - soy-braised pig’s trotters with hard-boiled egg & tofu puffs.

Every South-east Asian country has its own version of this dish: the Filipinos have their iconic pork adobo, the Thais have their sinfully-rich khao ka moo, The Vietnamese their sweet-savory thịt kho, whereas Singapore and Malaysia have the tau yu bak.

Their Cambodian cousin here packed every much a flavor punch as its counterparts elsewhere in the region: pleasing, comforting flavors, with the sticky deliciousness from the slow-cooked pig trotters.

What I really appreciated about Rohatt Cafe is that it offered basically very simple, basic dishes, nothing fancy-schmancy, but just done very well, imparting those somewhat familiar, home-cooked flavors. This place is definitely my favorite eating spot for the trip.

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


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.


Ditto in Communist China post-Cultural Revolution, the traditional master-apprentice arrangement to pass down old recipes were lost when many of the old master chefs were either killed by the rampaging Red Guard cadres, or else forced to undergo “re-education” in communal farms or labor 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.