Saturday, February 06, 2010

Viroth's Restaurant, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Viroth's (246 Wat Bo Street, Siem Reap) receives recommendations from numerous print and online sources as a place that takes Khmer cuisine up a notch from the usual Cambodian restaurant. As it's not in the crowded "Pub Street" tourist hub, it's a destination. The outdoor, semi-covered space is sleek and modern.

I started my dinner with a green papaya salad with pork, peanuts and local herbs. It was excellent, with a porky flavor imbuing the salad that reminded me of tonkotsu, Japanese pork bone broth. When I asked about the preparation, the waiter said the pork was boiled--was the broth also used? I wondered. Atop the pork notes it had a slightly sweet, peanuty flavor, with a thicker dressing than Thai or Viet style papaya salads.

I followed the salad with shrimp & squid yahorn. A yahorn is a kind of Cambodian curry, somewhat like a Thai curry, with coconut milk, not especially spicy, but with a more subtle mix of herbal flavors. Very fresh seafood flavors could be tasted through the entire dish.

This was one of the better meals I had in Cambodia. The cost for two dishes, plus rice and beer was $12.25.


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