Jul 16 2009

Culture, Colour and Cambodian Cooking

BBC Two’s TV chef Rick Stein started his Far Eastern Odyssey in Cambodia where he showcased a range of Cambodian foods and highlighted a true picture of Khmer cooking delights. No surprise he started off with fish amok served in banana leaves. It’s an easy dish to make providing you have the right ingredients white fish (I don’t think it really matters which one), fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, coconut milk, lemon grass, nhor leaves, galangal, turmeric, garlic, shallots and, of course, chillies! Although not really a spicy dish, it’s a creamy mix which mixed altogether and steamed tastes fantastic.

The programme recommended mixing the sauce first, then to add the fish and bind together with a couple of eggs. I first learnt to cook fish amok at cooking classes in Sihanoukville.

Another favourite of mine highlighted in the show was beef Lok Lak complete with a fired egg on top, served with the all important pepper and lime sauce. Mix some pepper and salt with freshly squeezed limes to get a unique sour tasting sauce.

The programme transported us from our sofas to Siem Reap via Kampot, Kep and Rabbit Island, taking point to note the distinct intense flavours of Kampot Pepper served perfectly with steak or fresh crab from Kep.

Rick Stein then took the viewers across the mighty Tonle Sap lake and introduced us to the locals living in floating villages and how they salt, smoke and dry fish as a means of preservation. The best way to try it is on the lake itself and, perhaps, by taking a sunset cruise on the Tara River Boat.

From fish to fruit, from lake to land our next stop was the colourful and vibrant Psar Leu where Joannes Riviere, previous executive chef of Hotel de la Paix and advisor for Sala Bai Hotel and Restaurant School showed us around the fragrant fruit stalls and bakeries.

The bustling markets are a must do in any Cambodian town. Siem Reap’s Old Market is no exception and is included in the Cambodian cooking classes at The Paper Tiger as an introduction to Cambodian food. Not only do you get to eat your delights after the lesson, but a sum of profits are given over to Sala Bai who also featured in Rick Steins broadcast.

Sala Bai, literally translated to ‘the school of rice’, is a hotel school with a difference. They have social workers who spend more than six months interviewing and selecting potential students. Their criteria for selection is not only poverty, they also accept young girls who, without an education, could end up in poorly paid or less wholesome jobs.

Sala Bai welcomes guests to enjoy their hospitality. Whether staying the night or enjoying lunch, guests can contribute to the students learning experience. A practical lesson with real life travellers is more rewarding and challenging than serving other students. It is also an opportunity for visitors to Siem Reap to make a difference, in a small way, as profits generated go back into improving the schools or into scholarship funds.

If you did watch it and was inspired the programme, then why not come and visit Siem Reap yourself?

Feb 16 2009

Angkor Wat Night Festival

Journey back in history and see the legendary Angkor Wat come to life with an array of performers and spectacular night lighting.

Angkor Wat at night

Angkor Wat at night

Angkor Wat Night Festival provides spectacular performances, live musical acts and beautiful Apsara dancers. As you approach the main gate of the temple, it is difficult not to be impressed by the magnificence of this enduring architectural achievement, with its beauty enhanced by the illumination set against dark sky.  Candles and flaming torches add to the mystical aura of the temple, as you begin your journey back in history.

The festival will start on 22 February and last until the end of the dry season.

Prices are US$ 15 for adults and US$ 7.50 for children under 12 and the rates include an evening temple pass to Angkor Wat (valid between 19.00 – 23.00) and traditional performances.

Tickets are available from selected outlets in Siem Reap, at the ticket office in front of Angkor Wat and you can also reserve tickets online.

Feb 1 2009

Siem Reap Suitcase Sale

Wanderlust owner Elizabeth Keister invites buyers and sellers to Siem Reap’s first suitcase sale.

suitcase-sale Continue reading

Jan 29 2009

Cambodia – Kingdom of Wonder

In an attempt to diversify it’s tourism product and highlight Cambodia’s many attractions other than the magnificent temples of Angkor, the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism is aiming to let people across the world know that Cambodia is much more than just Angkor Wat.  Even though Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples still play a major part, the new tourism branding campaign places much focus on ecotourism and adverts on CNN also include traditional Apsara dancers, shadow puppets, white sandy beaches and succulent seafood under the new slogan ‘Cambodia – Kingdom of Wonder’.

Jan 1 2009

Happy New Year

We wish everyone a happy new year and hope that you will keep travelling light and responsibly…!!!

Dec 16 2008

Hello world!

Welcome to suesday.com…!!

Stay tuned for updates on Cambodia – the Kingdom of Wonder.


Oct 1 2008

Challenge your assumptions about vegetarian cuisine

With an abundance of exotic fresh fruits and vegetables widely available at local markets, there are a few inviting vegetarian dining options in Siem Reap.

Located just off Siem Reap’s Old Market in the Pub Street Alley, Chamkar Vegetarian Restaurant offers gourmet vegetarian cuisine in a cosy setting. The name ‘Chamkar’ translate to field or garden (of vegetables), and with an array of dishes made by fresh local vegetables, it is a healthy and slightly different take on traditional Cambodian cuisine.

Singing Tree Cafe has a range of vegetarian dishes and doubles as a community center where a well of information about volunteering opportunities and community projects are available.

Indian restaurants such as Maharajah, Little India, Curry Walla, East India also offer affordable vegetarian dishes.