Trip Planning: Cambodia’s Top Restaurants

PHNOM PENH TOP RESTAURANTS

  • Malis restaurant (beef in bamboo, goby with Kampot peppercorns, Battambang beef steak, prahok ktis fried rice) **
  • ALMA cafe breakfast (huevos rancheros, enchiladas) **
  • Sesame Noodle House (cold sesame house noodles with pork, veggies, egg OR killer pork pan-fried gyoza OR thor bun, closed Mondays, chocolate sesame balls, close to Russian Market) ***
  • ARTillery (healthy, sausage, eggs, bagels, near Sisowath Quay) *
  • The Foreign Correspondents’ Club (overlooks Tonle Sap river) **
  • Romdeng (NGO for street kids, Khmer classics like baked fish amok, beef loklak, deep-fried tarantula, red tree ants with beef and basil, unique handicrafts) ****
  • Van’s Restaurant **
  • Brooklyn Bistro (cheesy pizzas and burgers) *
  • Sovanna (grilled pork and beef, fish soup) **
  • Java Cafe (sandwiches, pasta, soup, burgers, pastries, coffee, gallery next door) **
  • Feel Good Cafe *
  • Brown Coffee *
  • Khmer Surin Restaurant (local authentic Khmer, beautiful decor, oldest Khmer restaurant) *
  • Backyard Cafe *
  • Khema Pasteur *
  • Daughters of Cambodia **
  • Friends the Restaurant (tapas, smoothies/lassis/shakes, sautéed quit with pepper, eggplant dip with bread, dessert, shop next door, very good cookbook, near National Museum) *****

SIEM REAP TOP RESTAURANTS

  • Sister Srey Cafe (breakfast) *
  • Fresh Fruit Cafe (#1 trip advisor)
  • Haven **
  • Blue Pumpkin (bakery, ice cream, pistachio, amazing desserts) **
  • Embassy (kdat soup) **
  • Cuisine Wat Damnak (curry prawns, fish) *****
  • Sugar Palm (Khmer classics, authentic) **
  • Mie Cafe (4-course menu) *
  • Chaney Tree *
  • Banllé (Mexican, with ice cream) *
  • Vibe Cafe *
  • Damnak Lounge *
  • Nest *
  • Marum *
  • Touich (salted grilled red snapper) *
  • Olive *

KEP RESTAURANTS

  • Sailing Club ****
  • Kimly ****
  • La Baraka ***
  • Breezes ***
  • Democrat **
  • Holy Crab **
  • Veranda (breakfast buffet) **
  • Beach House **
  • Mr. Mab (breakfast) **
  • Pain de Jade (breakfast) *
  • Led Zeppelin *
  • Brise de Kep *
  • Strand (breakfast, fine dining) *
  • Chez Bebe *
  • Eli d’Or (patisserie, breakfast) *
  • Kep Coffee (Mexican food and coffee, breakfast) *

This Post Has Been HIDDEN for 3 Years

This post has been hiding.

Bloggers – you know what I mean… it’s that post that you’ve buried deep in the Drafts folder, where you promise yourself that you’ll come back to it.

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I didn’t come back to this until now. But whoa. Three years.

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In three years time, however, omelettes haven’t gotten out of style. I still love them 🙂

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Here, I used two eggs, zucchini, roasted red pepper, sharp white cheddar cheese, and kale (fresh from our garden – yay!). Separate the egg yolks from the whites. We’ll be coming back to this later!

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Heat some oil over medium heat, and cook the kale until slightly wilted. It won’t wilt nearly as much as spinach, but you just want to tenderize it. Remove to a plate when the kale looks cooked 🙂

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Zucchini is up next! In the same skillet, cook it just until it obtains a nice, slightly brown colour.

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Chop up the kale and the pepper. These can be whisked right into the egg white.

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Awesome! Pour the egg yolks (or just one, if you’d like) back into the egg whites and give it another good beating. 😉

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Spread the zucchini out and carefully pour the egg-vegetable mixture into the zucchini. Spread it out with a rubber spatula and let it cook for a bit less than a minute.

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Looks good! Sprinkle the cheese on top and cook until the eggs have mostly set.

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Use your rubber spatula to give the eggs a big flip!

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Misfolded ones are equally tasty. At least this one didn’t turn into a scramble!

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I miss Mom’s pretty flowers on the kitchen table. Those were the days!

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The combination of fresh veggies, rich egg, and creamy cheese is so divine.

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Have a wonderful Friday!

When You Double The Butter

This post was hiding in my DRAFTS folder for four months! Does that ever happen to you guys? You write a post, keep it in Drafts to update another day, then completely forget about it until months later?

Probably just me. 🙈

Anyways… I executed the world’s greatest baking failure.

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See that butter up there? It’s twice as much as I should have used. 😮

Chocolate Nutella Cookies Recipe

Makes 72 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temp (NOT 1.5 cups, NOT 340 g)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (150 g)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (150 g)
  • 1 cup Nutella (280 g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (148 g)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (31 g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix into the butter mixture on low speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the bottom and sides at least once to ensure even mixing.

Add chocolate chips and hazelnuts, chill 10 min: Fold in the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and refrigerate the dough for ten minutes.

Spoon onto lined cookie sheets and bake: Spoon tablespoon-sized drops of dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

They looked pretty good going in, if anything, a little too soft. They came out an absolute disaster. Completely inedible. I learned, I learned. Baking really is a chemistry. Where there’s a whisk, there’s a way, I suppose, until you use 1.5 cups of butter.

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Lunch another day: spinach and feta omelet with cherries, plus baked treats, yogurt, and coconut cookies. These coconut thins are my favourite, and many many more were devoured.

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Back when I was on my waffle kick! These were so yummy, and there was much more yogurt devoured post-photo.

Another day, Mom made chive scrambled eggs (chives from the backyard), pearl meatballs (pork, green onions, and water chestnuts, rolled in sticky rice before steaming), and fried fish. All three dishes tasted great!

I loved these “red velvet” waffles another day. I made them in the blender: beets and a mashed banana, with lots of cocoa powder, before topping them with the creamiest nut butter and hemp hearts.

This was a German apple cake slice with yogurt, and a party meal that we enjoyed at my mom’s friend’s house.

Almond cake, created by my mom. The whipped cream topping was great!

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Blueberry Almond Layer Cake with Whipped Cream

Serves 16

Cake INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups almond meal, firmly packed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 and 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping and Cream INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups whipped cream
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • blueberries to decorate
  • chopped nuts, if desired, to decorate

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease two round pans with coconut oil, dust with almond meal, and place a piece of parchment paper on the base.
  3. Beat egg, maple syrup or honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk well.
  5. Finally, add almond meal. Mix until just combined.
  6. Separate evenly into two round pans.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, or more if needed.
  8. Remove from oven. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then place on cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. For the whipped cream, freeze bowl and mixer for 15 minutes. Whipped cream should be cold too, fresh from the fridge. Place all ingredients into chilled bowl and whip until the peaks are firm.
  10. When the cake is cooled completely, cut into two layers and spread with whipped cream, then “ice” around the outside. Decorate with blueberries, chocolate shavings, other fruit, nuts, or more.

Once, Seline and I went to Wild Rice, a gluten-free and restaurant where I enjoyed turmeric rice topped with prawns and bok choy in a garlic-coconut reduction. The sauce was otherworldly.

Seline’s crispy chicken cubes were also tasty.

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We had that meal at the Fraser River quay in New Westminster, after silks.

The quay is so, so beautiful in the sunshine.

This is a new variation that Seline and I were working on.

Our summer garden flowers are at the peak of their blossom.

Our morning walks are always so enjoyable.

New book that I’m [mostly] in love with. I finished it a while ago, and have so much to say. Has anyone read this and would like to discuss?!

Over the weekend, my family went to the Korean market, where my mom purchased $80 worth of meat (all cuts!), in addition to kimchi, fish balls, and Korean pancakes. The red bean pancakes are my favourite.

Another day, we had a fanciful Mom Dinner with all sorts of fresh dishes.

And for dessert, aunt Mimi and uncle Charles brought a chocolate mousse cake from Whole Foods.

I had all kinds of Chinese buns for breakfast that day, and the taro was my favourite, followed by red bean and chestnut.

Have a beautiful Sunday, everyone!

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Who else loves banana muffins?

Studded with blueberries, these simple, healthy, and super cute muffins are sure to be devoured. Loaded with banana flavour from three large bananas, the cinnamon-vanilla batter tastes fantastic with fresh (or frozen!) blueberries.

I also love the use of applesauce in this recipe to keep the muffins tender. Enjoy!

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups flour (180 g)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Grease 12 muffin cups.
  3. Toss one scoop of flour (from the 1.5 cups) with the 1 cup of blueberries. If you wish, you may reserve some for the topping.
  4. Place all ingredients, except flour and blueberries, in the blender. When fully combined, stir in flour. Do not over-mix.
  5. Fold in the flour-coated blueberries.
  6. Pour into muffin cups and bake for 20+ minutes.

Yum. Let’s get baking!

PS: you need to slather these with almond butter. Please.

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Have a beautiful rest of the week, everyone ❤

Trip Planning: Hottest Tourist Attractions of Cambodia

PLACES TO SEE IN PHNOM PENH

  • Choeung Ek Killing Fields of Khmer Rouge (10 miles from Phnom Penh)
  • Wat Phnom (historic hilltop Buddhist temple complex)
  • Phnom Penh Royal Palace
  • National Museum of Cambodia (Khmer art)
  • Silver Pagoda
  • Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument
  • Tuol Tom Poung Market
  • Central Market
  • Wat Ounalom
  • Sisowath Quay
  • Statue of King Father Sihanouk
  • Bophana Center
  • Russian Market (flea market with all kinds of products to bargain for)
  • Phnom Chisor Temple
  • Silk Island
  • Independence Monument (lights up at night)
  • Tuol Sleng genocide museum, in the prison

PLACES TO SEE IN SIEM REAP

  • Angkor Wat (massive ornate temple: visit at sunrise)
  • Banteay Srei (temple, mona lisa, archaeological site: visit at night to get sunset lighting)
  • Being Mealea (overgrown remains of ancient temple)
  • Terrace of Leper King (elephant and temple)
  • Angkor National Museum
  • Siem Reap War Museum
  • Angkor Handicraft Association
  • Angkor Thom
  • Phnom Kulen National Park (beautiful, lots of wildlife, bumpy road, stay 3 hours)
  • West Baray Beach
  • Ta Prohm (early morning)
  • Bayon Temple (temple of many faces)
  • Angkor Archaeological Park
  • Phsar Chas market for jewelry and handicrafts
  • river between the old trees, the former French quarter
  • Phare Cambodian Circus
  • Preah Khan
  • Angkor Night Market
  • river with waterway: Tonle Sap

PLACES TO SEE IN KEP

  • Sothy’s Pepper Farm
  • Kep National Park
  • Kep district
  • Kep Beach
  • Chhak Kep Bay
  • Rabbit Island (Koh Tunsay) day excursion
  • Crab statue
  • Butterfly Farm
  • Teuk Chhou Zoo
  • Samathi Pagoda
  • Bokor National park: French ruins, rainforest (1.5 hour drive)
  • Crab Market in the morning

A Joke and Some Quotes

I started the week with a delicious tagine. Sort of… deconstructed because my pot wasn’t big enough.

Moroccan Chickpea Tagine

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 pack baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup couscous
  • drizzle honey

OPTIONAL VEGGIES

  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • green bell pepper
  • eggplant

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion. Cook until soft.
  2. Add garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and cook until fragrant. 1 minute is enough.
  3. Add tomatoes and juice.
  4. Add chickpeas, cauliflower, raisins, 1/2 cup water, and boil.
  5. Reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender and liquid has thickened – 15 to 20 mins. Add some honey.
  6. Fold spinach. Cook until wilted – another 1 or 2 mins.
  7. Place couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 cup water. Cover, let sit for 5 mins. Fluff with fork and serve with stew.

Another day, I had a tasty dinner at Scaddabush with my coworkers. I enjoyed the Zucca ravioli: butternut squash ravioli with butter-fried sage, breadcrumbs, and a garlicky, creamy sauce with plenty of black pepper and parmesan. I also loved my appetizer, which was buttered garlic bread with fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, crushed toasted hazelnuts, and honey. Amazing.

Since I’m tutoring at Centennial College, I have the opportunity to create a website. This is what we have so far. Pretty fun endeavour! The site is called Anatomy Academy, and it has all the worksheets that the students use to practice for anatomy and physiology.

I spent Sunday in downtown Toronto, where I savoured this incredible platter of smoked salmon, beet-cured gravlax, and purple cornmeal pancakes. The poached duck egg and chives were the cherry on top. The Scandinavian flavours in this delicious Karelia Kitchen brunch classic were unforgettable.

Carrot cake could not be missed. Absolute perfection. 👌

I walked down Bloor, which is becoming one of my favourite streets. Little Korea is always fun to explore, and I loved this stationery store where I picked up a few pens for Seline. My sister, Seline, is now working on a new blog called Canvas Atlas. It’s a fantastic portfolio; she’s a very talented with oil painting, photography, sketching, and other artistic endeavours. I wish I could create art the way she does.

Some quotes that I found on the net. I really like these ones.

Quotes

  • “Be decisive. Right or Wrong, make a decision. The road of life if paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.”
  • “At the end of the game the King and the Pawn go into the same box.”
  • “Give a man a mask and he will show you his true self.”
  • “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
  • “If good things lasted forever, how would we realize how precious they are?”
  • “Climb the mountain to see the world, not so that the world can see you.”
  • “You cannot choose what happens to you, but you have total control over how you react to it.”
  • “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

One of my students brought me this slice of homemade banana bread. It was so tasty, and I loved every bite. Banana bread is truly one of my faves in any way, shape, or form.

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Another day, I went to Bake Code, a Taiwanese bakery in the York Mills area. There, I bought a taro knot (delicious) which I ate with Thai green curry, topped with crushed cashews.

The broccoli-cheddar quiche that I made was also very, very yummy with mushroom soup.

Shopping list – all the green words are things that I’m going to use to make some Christmas-inspired treats when the time comes around. It’s never to early to prep for Christmas, in my opinion. 😉

Mom Meals in BC looking good!

Dinner from Whole Foods, as well as a croissant that I attempted to bake. D’you think this looks a little… overbaked? Maybe a little 😉

(Don’t worry, I still ate it – the filling and inner layers, at least – and t’was delicious nonetheless)

This is the view of Toronto from 50 km away. Toronto is the beautiful, futuristic-looking city in the back. I got these photos from BlogTO (i.e. I don’t have the photography skills to do stuff like this).

Beautiful book from the library by the inspirational, talented, articulate Malala. I love reading about girls my age who use their voices to create positive ripples in the world. Go, Malala, go! ❤

I. Need. More. Books. And more gym time.

Another day, I visited the Toronto Pan Am Centre. Wish I brought my bathing suit; this gym is stunning but also pricey. Would have been super fun for a drop-in session or two.

Gorgeous skies on my walks home.

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My schedule is packed recently, which is what I like. Purple boxes and light blue boxes are bookings by students.

On a side note: Christmas decorations!

Things from the net 🙂

THIS. JOKE. GUYS.

A Chinese family moved into my town. There was a pair of twins: a boy called Ving and a girl called Ling. I became food friends with Ving. I learned that Ving HATED his name, and he wanted to change it to Lee, like Bruce Lee. I really wanted him to change his name to Lee. Ving decided to change his name, even though Ling disagreed. They went to town hall, and he filled out his name change sheet. He looked very conflicted.

Finally, Ving decided not to change his name. He asked the receptionist to cancel the request. I was disappointed. The receptionist said there would be a cancellation fee, and handed the fee receipt to Ling.

I said, “don’t stop, be Lee, Ving. Hold on to that fee, Ling.”


On a completely different, non-pun related note, check out this amazing stew-soup that I made. You will love it. Every bite was tasty!

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Curried Lentil Pumpkin Soup

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • small yellow onion, diced
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 7.5 oz pumpkin puree (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tbsp curry powder (mild or hot)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • cayenne, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch coriander
  • pinch cumin
  • honey, if desired
  • pumpkin seeds to garnish
  • lime to taste, or for garnish
  • coconut milk (little bit to thicken and add creaminess)

Mix-Ins to Add When Sautéing (add them with the onions)

  • chopped carrot
  • tiny cauliflower florets
  • baby spinach or kale
  • celery
  • tomato
  • couscous

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger in large pot with oil, until onions are soft and transparent. Add desired vegetables. I tossed in some chopped carrot and celery.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, red lentils, broth, and curry powder. Add other desired spices. Stir to combine.
  3. Place a lid on the pot and turn up the heat to medium high. Boil.
  4. Turn the heat down again. Simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 mins, lentils should be soft and the soup thickened. Add coconut milk. Stir in any kale or spinach. I added baby spinach at the end to wilt.
  5. Season well. Serve with lime and pumpkin seeds on top.

That’s it for today, everyone. Have a beautiful rest of the week ❤