Phnom Penh Central Market and Romdeng
Hello from Phnom Penh! In our third day in Cambodia, after meeting my parents last night, we decided to take them to the spa we went to yesterday. I had a slimming massage this time, so I kept thinking “FAT AWAYYYYY! FAT AWAYYYYYY!!!” I don’t feel much slimmer though. LOL
We tried going to Friends which is an NGO helping street youth and marginalized youths getting back on their feet. Sadly they are not open on Mondays so we decided to go to one of their affiliated restraints, Romdeng.
Funnily enough we met up with our Intrepid tour tonight and we are going to Romdeng for dinner also! Lol. So we will do a combined lunch and dinner post!
After lunch we went to visit the Central Market and the parents bought up a storm. We also tried buying snacks from the street vendors but no doubt they jacked up the price at the sight of tourist- USD$20 for four (albeit huge) prawns were crazy. Maybe other tourist would fall for it, but us Asians ain’t gonna spend that much money on street food.
RomdengOknha Ket Rd, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
+855 92 219 565
Alright, back to Romdeng. Conveniently situated opposite to our hotel, Romdeng Restaurant is situated in a beautiful colonial house with indoor and outdoor seating. It even has a pool where you can pay for a drink and have a swim!
For lunch, we started off with a super refreshing coconut and lime shake USD$2.5. It was such a great combo and instantly cooled me down and chill me out! I think hubby had a sweet honey, pineapple and orange juice and he was loving it too.
We shared an entree of chicken lotus root salad USD$6. The lotus root was young and crunchy, with a refreshingly sour flavour, which was balanced out by the star anise flavours of Thai Basil. Delicious!
I can’t remember what was in this dish, but it was like a sweet and salty rice pancake that I quite liked..
P.Daddy ordered Sticky rice with mango and coconut USD$4. It’s quite like the Thai dessert, but I found the rice in Romdeng was too chewy and hard, it doesn’t taste too bad but I think I like the Thai version more.
I chose the rice dumpling stuffed with banana and served with palm sugar syrup $4.25. This is like tong yuen in coconut milk. I must admit I wasn’t a huge fan. I reckon I am not a huge fan of Cambodian desserts… it felt like they are lesser versions of their neighbouring country (sorry! :P).
Night time came and coincidentally, Intrepid travel brought us to Romdeng again! Feeling a bit more adventurous this time, I decided we should try the more “authentic” menu- why not? YOLO right?!
Ohhhhhhhhhhh yeah. What you see is what we ate. And we got to “play” with it before eating it. Yes, it is a Tarantula- and yes, it looks disgusting. The waiter would bring it out to let you play with it, but I didn’t touch it. There’s a part of me that felt I should respect the produce. You don’t play with your chickens before chopping its head off. Another part of me was a bit petrified by this creepy crawly. I am happier when it’s not moving. 😛
Well here it is: Deep fried tarantula w pepper and lime USD$4. To be honest, even though everyone said “ewwww don’t say that!” when I told them, the texture on its body was like soft shell crab. The legs are very chewy and tough though and the whole thing was quite tasteless. You really need the sauce to get any kind of flavours. Might even go well with ketchup. Just sayin’
Ok you might think, what’s so special about this dish? Well, you might not be able to see it but this is Tree Ants w beef and basil stir fry $6.25. To be honest it was nothing to write home about. In the dark we could barely see the ants but trust me it’s there cos we shined a torch over the dish and it was dotted with little red ants. Perhaps it was dark and I couldn’t see a thing but it was less of a thrill than the tarantula. It tasted strongly of lemongrass and chilli. I must say I still don’t know what those ants tastes like.
Overall we reckon that the food was better for lunch than dinner. The dinner portion sizes seemed smaller too. What the..? Maybe Cambodians eat smaller portions at night? Who knows?