Cuisine Wat Damnak @ Siem Reap, Cambodia

May 9, 2018

Lauded as one of Cambodia's best restaurants, Cuisine Wat Damnak is well worth a visit in Siem Reap; French chef-founder Joannes Riviere delivers dishes that are rich and bold with Khmer flavours, with complex tasting menus that bank memorably on unique local produce, including herbs and vegetables that may be an acquired taste for many visitors.

The selection is ever-evolving; intriguing highlights from our dinner comprised pan-fried Chhlang fish with coconut tree heart salad and pounded spicy toasted coconut; pulled beef slow-cooked with Angkor stout, served with fresh, steamed and fermented cabbage; rice wine-steamed Mekong langoustines with Makassar fruit dressing and young ginger leaves; pork shank coconut curry with giant green eggplant, pumpkin puree and winged beans; Koh Kong scallop spicy-sour soup with pounded green tamarind, clam jus, elephant ear taro stem and sesbania flowers; quail with Battambang asparagus, shiny cresson, celery leaves and fermented soy beans; Tonle Sap croacker with rice flake pancake, creamed amaranth, mushrooms and lemon basil; and dark chocolate light ganache with wild cinnamon, puffed rice noodles and caramelised cashew nuts.

Cocktails also showcase some Cambodian nuances - try the Sangria with purple dragon fruit and Phnom Kulen vanilla; the turmeric-imbued Margarita; and the rice wine laced with kuy fruit.