Brand to mouth
Khmer cuisine is a voyage of discovery, but sometimes all you really want is the comforting taste of home. These are the international chains and restaurants that should be right up your street in Siem Reap.
There comes a time in every major holiday when all you really want is a pizza. Or fried chicken. Or a coffee that isn’t made with sweet milk and served in a plastic bag. Luckily, several famous chains are popping up all over town.
KFC (Sivatha Blvd), possibly the world’s most popular fried chicken franchise specialising in its secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices, was one of Siem Reap’s first recognised international restaurant brands to open. All the firm favourites are on offer here, along with a few Asian twists to make sure there’s a winner, winner, chicken dinner for everybody.
BBQ Chicken (Pokambor Ave) is South Korea’s answer to McDonald’s with a bit of KFC thrown in. Using the freshest ingredients to provide the healthiest and tastiest chicken grill and barbecue specialties, as well as authentic Korean dishes, enjoy being served in a cozy atmosphere by their friendly staff. Menu choices range from sandwiches, burgers and salads to soups, steak, fish and more.
If you find yourself daydreaming about flame-grilled beef patties, you should take solace in the fact that Burger King (Sivatha Blvd) has an outlet in Temple town, and yes, it tastes just like home! From the mighty Whopper to the Bacon Cheeseburger Doubles, it’s a burger-lovers paradise, especially if you’ve just emerged from a lengthy trip around the provinces and need that quick hit of comfort food. The ‘King Fries’ aren’t quite as we remember them, but you won’t mind as you embrace yourself in sweet, greasy goodness.
Another well-known arrival in Siem Reap is Hard Rock Cafe (King’s Road Angkor). The American restaurant and hotel chain is a global phenomenon with 191 locations spread around the world – the Siem Reap branch is their first and currently only location in Cambodia. Every Hard Rock location feature live bands belting out classic covers nightly, with Rock & Roll memorabilia on display (Hard Rock Cafe Angkor has one of Madonna’s hats and a guitar owned by Gene Simmons of KISS, among other items). The menu is stuffed with hearty American and TexMex food, in massive portions, such as Hard Rock’s Original Legendary Burger, Famous Fajitas, and Rockin’ Wings. A special Cambodian addition is the “Local Legendary Burger”, made with Khmer herbs and spices, and topped with a fried egg.
The Pizza Company (Angkor Trade Center) has the standard selection of pizza, pasta, salads and appetizers which are “flavoured to excite”. Look out for Asian-inspired pizza toppings such as Tom Yum Kung (chilli paste, prawns, calamari and mushroom) and Tropical Seafood.
If you need to chill, Swensen’s (St 105) will satisfy your craving for cool with their indulgent ice cream scoops and sundaes. The Earthquake Sundae is an eating challenge, while the Sticky Chewy Choc Fantasy lives up to its dreamy title.
Sarpino’s Pizzeria (Samdech Tep Vong St) has over 80 restaurants in eight countries and aims to meet the demand for greater freshness, quality, authenticity and most of all, variety in their pizza. They take pride in knowing how to make an exceptional Italian-style pizza every time, and hand-knead their dough and allow it to proof three times to fully develop its flavor and texture. Sarpino’s is renowned for its exceptional sauce, using only the sweetest tomatoes available to guarantee perfect consistency and concentrated flavours.
For those in need of a familiar caffeine hit, the biggest name in town has to be Costa Coffee (King’s Road Angkor), the UK’s most popular coffee chain founded in London in 1971. Here you can sip the ultimate handcrafted cappuccino and enjoy a blueberry muffin on the side.
And finally there’s Tous Les Jours (Sivatha Blvd), the everyday French-Asian bakery serving a selection of freshly baked goods made with the highest quality ingredients sourced from South Korea. Cuddle up to a cake or sandwich, accompanied by a fine cup of coffee or tea, or a scrumptious smoothie.