As the capital of Cambodia, it’s no wonder that visitors flock to the magnificent city of Phnom Penh. The city is home to the Royal Palace, the royal residence of King Sihamoni, which also includes the beautiful Silver Pagoda. It is worth the visit to Phnom Penh to see the Royal Palace alone, but what many people also make the trip for is the world-class food scene that Phnom Penh possesses – with the best in pan-Asian cuisine.
Creating Your Own Culinary Delights
A fun way to explore the city’s food scene is through the cooking classes they offer – giving visitors a great way to not only taste the food but a way for them to bring home the skillset needed to make these delicious dishes for friends and family upon their return as well!
La Table Khmère is a great 3-hour cooking class where participants are taught how to make a starter, main dish and even dessert, all in the Khmer style at a local restaurant. For those looking for a more authentic experience, the morning session is the one to book, as it includes a visit to a local market with the instructor to purchase the ingredients they’ll use in the class.
Speaking of authentic, it doesn’t get more authentic than learning the art of modern Asian cuisine in the home of a local, which is what chef Veasna Kay offers through Veasna in the Kitchen. Students will have the chance to learn how to cook several Khmer dishes in Veasna’s riverside apartment before enjoying the fruits of their labour.
Taking to the Streets
A must-do in any Asian city is to check out the street food scene. A great way to do this is through a food tour, of which Phnom Penh has many – ensuring that you get to try the best of what the city has to offer and avoid food that your stomach as a tourist, may not be able to handle. Some food to be on the look-out for, native to the city, would be fish amok, chive cakes and if you’re feeling adventurous – grilled worms and crickets or balut, the fertilised embryo of a duck.
The top-rated food tour in Phnom Penh is Urban Forage, run by Ducky, a woman who has been wandering the globe for the past 17 years and currently calls Phnom Penh home. Ducky gives visitors the chance to visit great local markets with her, at all times of the day, to sample some of Khmer’s delicious and adventurous offerings (creepy crawlers anyone?). She also offers a dinnertime tour for a chance to eat at some hidden gems.
Another great way to experience the city is through Lost Plate’s Phnom Penh night time food tour, offering participants a taste of four different restaurants in the city — by Tuk-Tuk nonetheless! Learning to cook in Phnom Penh and experiencing the local cuisine through their street markets and restaurants is a delicious experience that shouldn’t be missed, however should Cambodia be a bit too far, there are delicious places to eat in Oxford city centre like Banana Tree, which offers many pan-Asian dishes, like the ones you’d find in Phnom Penh.