We have been away almost 2 months now and we are in our 4th country – gorgeous Cambodia! I have fallen in love with this country – the temples are magical, the people are amazingly friendly and the food is fab.
But my newest found love… seeking out wonderfully quirky, achingly cool, hipster-tastic cafes!
Trying to conserve the ever dwindling budget (damn you gorgeous cheap market stall clothes!!) the husband and I have come to enjoy lazier days spent doing not much else but wandering the hazy streets and dipping in and out of the many cafe’s lined along the way…
The Shop, Phnom Penh
Tucked down St 240 near the hub bub of the Grand Palace, The Shop was a little haven for us on an unbearably hot day! With a gorgeous little outside area, and equally cool inside seating, the staff are attentive and quick without being pushy, making you feel instantly relaxed and at home. The drinks were a very refreshing start – freshly squeezed lemon and iced soda water with a little pot of syrup satisfying my husbands sweet tooth – and the food were some of the best sandwiches we have had since home! Gorgeous bread, fresh salads and very generous portion sizes!
For 2 drinks and 2 huge sandwiches with salad the bill came to about $10 total – not a street stall budget but for the setting and the quality, definitely bang for your buck!
Java Cafe & Gallery, Phnom Penh
Another day led to another cafe and this time we wandered slightly further down to find Java Cafe & Gallery just down from the Independence Monunment. When we first arrived it appeared there was only an inside seating area but upon asking we were directed around the side of the building, up some tall steps to a wonderful 2nd level terrace with outside balcony seating and a lovely little art gallery with further seating inside.
The setting was one of my favourites – muted tones of greys and creams, gorgeous French style shuttered doors and floral cushioned lounge chairs with plenty of hanging plants and potted ferns to make it the ultimate chill out spot.
We had already scoffed a large breakfast so opted for some hearty smoothies to fill up the gap between then and dinner and they did not disappoint! I had a fruit mix and the husband went for a cookie cream (did I mention the sweet tooth?!). Packed with ingredients, fresh milk and lots of ice, they were thick, delicious and a wonderful way to cool down in the afternoon heat.
Sister Srey Cafe, Siem Reap
After a hot and bumpy bus ride we touched down in Siem Reap and I immediately got to searching for our next chill out spot… which ended in us hunting down the awesome Sister Srey Cafe on the main street towards the Royal Gardens (which is worth a visit too as the gardens tall trees are home to huge bats which flit around in the daytime!).
The Sister Srey Cafe is owned by two sisters who not only put amazing food on the table but also run local community programmes and employ and educate local youngsters – good food and a social conscience made it an absolute winner in my book!
And oh my the food…
We opted for a smoothie and a milkshake (chocolate for the husband and my god it was heaven) and shared a burger and a falafel and tabbouleh salad. Not only was it absolutely delicious, the portion sizes were incredible – I could not finish it even though I tried my hardest to stuff one more bite in as it was just too tasty!
Another testament to the food is that my meat loving husband who would normally pick a steak over a salad any day was devouring the fresh salad with such glee he couldn’t even finish his chips!!
So what do you think? Any foodie recommendations that we have to hunt down? Where are your favourite hangouts? Let me know in the comments below…
Now I’m off to hunt down some lunch…