19 Saturday Jan 2013

Deco restaurant in BKK1

A great, some-what new, addition opens its door on the corner of Street 57 and Street 352 in BKK1.  If you’re driving along Street 57, you may not able to tell that this cute little colonial french, in black and white color, house is actually a restaurant born to be awesome.

It was a Saturday evening.  My mom and I were sitting on the rooftop of Eclipse Sky bar that I pulled up the Tripadvisor app for Phnom Penh.  A quick browse through the restaurant list, we’ve decided on Deco, that was listed in the top 3 restaurants in Phnom Penh, as our tonight’s choice to dine at.

As we entered the restaurant, the server seated us to one of the empty tables, not too far from the bar.  The lighting was slightly dimmed, giving the room’s atmosphere a warm and cozy feeling.  To our surprise, the menu wasn’t the traditional pamphlet or booklet but instead was a brown piece of paper laying on top of our table.

For our evening, we didn’t bother to order any alcoholic drink but instead made a few selections of their non-alcoholic concoction.  Our orders of a Jasmine Iced tea and a Raspberry fizz were splendid.  A tangy taste of club soda infused with a citric twist was a great combination for our meals to come.

The restaurant offered a few starter assortments– all sounded very scrumptious.  We placed the order for a Beetroot and Citrus Salad, Walnut Dressing; a Kampot Crab Cakes, Sherry Mayonnaise; and a Whisky Cured Salmon with Rye Bread, Honey Mustard & Dill.   My favorite was the crab cakes.

photo-14

For our main course we tried the 136 deg Poached Red Snapper, Potato Rosti, Spinach & Cream Sauce; a Duck Breast with Watermelon, Cashew Nut & Plum Sauce; and an Aussie Steak.   The duck breast was perfectly cooked, showing a slight hint of pink in the middle. The plum sauce was a bit sweet for me but the fresh carved watermelon was just the perfection palette combination as it was so refreshing.

photo-15

All in all I highly recommend Deco to everyone.  This restaurant definitely made a great impression and its ways onto my top list of restaurants of all time and not just the restaurant list from Phnom Penh.

Tel: 017577327
Address: the corner of Street 57 and Street 352
www.decophnompenh.com/

01 Sunday Jan 2012

“Banh Chanoeuk” – my favorite Khmer dessert

A walk through any local market, or sometimes locally referred to as “Psar” or “Phsar”, will take you to a series of boutique shops and all kinds of food stalls.  Hardly seen as being sold by itself, this particular dessert makes its way among Khmer or Cambodia favorite desserts.  The texture and sweetness are just perfect.   A bite through the glutinous shell will pour out from inside a ball of yellow mung beans.  Often this dessert is emerged in a sweet ginger sugar sauce and sesame seeds.  Yum !!!  So don’t just pass by the opportunity to taste this well-known savory dessert.   A bowl of it will bring you to come back for more.

Ok, I did some research online and found couple recipes, but here is my short version of how to make Banh Chanoeuk.

DESCRIPTION

There are two kinds of Banh Chanoeuk in Cambodia –  one is made from rice flour and other one from sago flour. Both have similar yummy taste.

INGREDIENT

1 package (14 oz) of Dried Mung Bean
1 package of Sesame Seeds (unroasted)
½ teaspoon of salt
1 bag (16 oz) of Glutinous (sweetened) Rice Flour
1 can (13.5 fl. Oz) of Coconut Cream (look for the dessert on the can to not mistake for coconut milk)
1 ½ cup of water
1 cup of sugar
3-6 shavings of fresh ginger (optional)

 RECIPE

First, make the dried mung beans wet in water around 2 hours, wash it again and again till the water is clear.

Boil with 2 ½ cup of water and keep simmer it around ten minutes.
Mix mash beans with ½ teaspoon of salt, then roll into ½ diameter balls and keep it aside.
Pour water and put the can of coconut cream in a pot and simmer it together, add 1 cup of sugar and ½ teaspoon salt.
Add fresh ginger shavings. Set it aside.
Put rice flour and pour 1 ½ cup of water into a bowl, then mix it together. Knead dough till consistent texture.
Pour water into a pot and boil it, when the water is boiling to place the dough around the filling.
Cover the mung bean ball with around ¼ to ½ thick dough. Boil this till float plus extra 5 minutes.

Prepare cold water to place the cooked dessert before serving.
For making topping we need roast sesame seeds with no oil in the pan for 2-3 minutes.
Stir it well and when they start popping means they are ready to turn of the heat.
Pound the seeds in a mortar and pestle.
Add dessert with warm sauce and sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds when prepare to serve.