Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Romdeng: Great Khmer food for a Good Cause [Phnom Penh, Cambodia]

On our last lunch before flying back to Manila, our friend decided to bring us to this one-of-a-kind restaurant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia called Romdeng. It's actually an NGO restaurant that provides training for the street children. Romdeng is part of the Tree Alliance Group where the profits of this restaurant is actually used for the training of their students in order for them to have a more secure future.

Upon entering, you could immediately tell that it used to be an old colonial house that was renovated to become a restaurant. As my friend made prior reservations, we were accommodated and was seated by the pool area. What I noticed is that there were a lot of people, especially foreigners eating here.
Cozy interiors
Outdoor pool with alfresco dining area
We were immediately given the menu and while we were checking the food out, we saw this interesting exotic food listed on their menu - Tarantula! The wait staff immediately went to get a piece of live tarantula to show us but since we were all afraid to of it, we didn't dare order it. The friendly staff allowed us to take pictures of the spider though before he brought it back.

Below are the dishes that we ordered:
Two Color Pomelo Salad with Fresh Shrimps and Toasted Coconut 
A unique appetizer to start with. What I liked about it was that the shrimps were not chopped so you could actually see that they're quite generous with the serving of shrimps. The combination with Pomelo was actually good because the fruit was sweet rather than it's usual bitter taste.

Fish Amok
In just 4 days, we fell in love with Khmer food and so we decided to order the fish amok one last time even though we've eaten this dish in the last 4 days. For me, the previous days' amok tastes better than this one but nonetheless, this was still good because of the rich coconut that was included in its sauce. I was actually the guilty person who finished this dish!

Sauteed Local Garden Vegetable on Crispy Jasmine Rice Crust
This is not your ordinary vegetable dish as mixing vegetables with rice crisp makes it tastes better. I'm sure that even kids would love the combination of ingredients in this vegetable dish.

Prawns in Crispy Taro Nest with Palm Wine and Honey Vinaigrette
I consider this to be the yummiest dish that was served that day. The dip matches the prawns perfectly. You might think that three pieces might seem few but because the generous stuffing inside, it was just right for the 5 of us.

Not too sure about the name of this dish but what I loved about this is that even their meat dishes are prepared with a twist. You might think that this is full-meat dish but vegetables are actually hidden underneath the meat (eggplant and cucumber). You would not be soaked up with the meatiness of the dish as the veggies aid in neutralizing your taste buds.

Below is the food menu of Romdeng:

They do also have a wide selection of drinks that you could choose from -- from shakes to alcoholic beverages and it's really a good hang-out place when you just want to relax and spend the afternoon with your friends. Good food for a good cause. It was a really great way to end our Cambodia trip!

Romdeng is located at
74 Street 174, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Telephone: +855 92 219 565 
Operating hours Based on their site:
Open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 9pm. 
Closed Wednesday and Friday 1pm to 5pm (student training).

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