We headed to Try Me Siem Reap for our first ever meal in Cambodia. Traditional dishes, reasonable prices and great location…
Having settled into an unexpected party hostel in the heart of Siem Reap, we were eager to get out and have our first taste of Cambodian cuisine.
In all honesty, we were not sure what to expect from food in Cambodia so did a little research on the staple dishes before heading out.
We found Try Me Siem Reap online, an inexpensive restaurant with good Trip Advisor reviews.
Since travelling around South East Asia, we have come to realise that Trip Advisor ‘cheap eats’ are not always the most economical on a backpacker budget. Try Me Siem Reap was fairly good value for money but definitely not the cheapest we came across in Cambodia.
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Getting to Try Me Siem Reap
Try Me is located in the centre of Siem Reap on Taphul Road, around a 10 minute walk from the popular pub street.
Ambience at Try Me Siem Reap
The restaurant is two floors and has an inside-outside vibe to it. There are fans to keep you cool which is welcome in the Cambodian heat.
When we first arrived, “Try Me” was really busy which is generally a good sign. There were two floors and we took the last table of two in the whole restaurant. Staff were friendly, providing us with menus as soon as we sat down. I ordered a pineapple fruit shake and a Khmer red chicken curry after reading beforehand that it was a Cambodian delicacy.
I had eaten a Thai red curry a few nights before, so was intrigued to compare the two.
This one came out in a big bowl with some sticky rice on the side. As well as chicken there was sweet potato, onion and green beans inside the curry which was made with a lot of coconut milk. It was almost soup-like as opposed to the one I had in Thailand which was rather dry in comparison.
I must admit, I ate the lot on both occasions, but the extra sauce was a welcome addition to zhuzh up the plain rice. I did miss the kick that my Thai curry had. On first impressions, Cambodian cooking doesn’t seem to contain as much spice as Thai food.
The great thing about the curry this time around was the portion size. My tummy was more than satisfied after the meal. The pineapple drink was refreshing but I’m not as mad for the fruit shakes as some travellers are.
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After a long day recovering in bed with a hangover I was hungry! Rather than the usual starter of spring rolls, I thought I’d try samosas. When I had my first bite I was quick to realise what I was eating was a triangular spring roll. Rather a case of “same same but different”. They were perfectly okay spring triangles mind you. Slightly greasy though, so I’m glad Lorna was at hand to eat one of the three or I may have struggled.
Thanks to our quick pre-supper investigation, I went with a traditional Lok Lak. Beef served on a bed of lettuce, thinly sliced tomato and onion. The sauce it comes in is basically a peppery soy mixture.
At first, this seemed odd to serve a warm saucy beef dish on this salad but the onion and tomato especially went great with the beef. The flavour is really intense and if you don’t like pepper I would not recommend it. I put pepper on everything so did quite enjoy it. I decided to make this dish during our cooking class in Siem Reap.
As Lorna has said, I also missed the chilli that is a staple in Thai cuisine, however, it was exciting to try a completely new take on food.
What Cambodian restaurants lack in Chilli, they certainly make up for with the price of beer – $0.75 for a draught Cambodian lager, excellent.
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Try Me Siem Reap was a great place to ease us into the Cambodian cuisine. We would recommend checking it out if you are staying close by. It came in at US $10.25 (£8.05) for a beer, pineapple fruit shake, one starter and two main courses.