Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cuisine Wat Damnak, Siem Reap

Entrance to Cuisine Wat Damnak
We visited Cuisine Wat Damnak on a wonderful night in Siem Reap, it is relatively expensive for Siem Reap but, Cuisine Wat Damnak is really a different type of special restaurant that stands on its own. Early reservations are required.

Downstairs Dining Room

Upstairs Dining Room
View from Window Table
We had reservations 6 weeks in advance. From our window seat we saw many diners turned away with no reservations.

Young Jack Fruit & Crispy Ambok Salad
Seared Koh Kong Scallop with Pomelo
This restaurant is rated in the 100 top restaurants of South East Asia, and only one of a few in Cambodia. When you consider the very reasonable prices, it becomes a definite destination in SR. If the Chef opened this restaurant in London or Paris or San Francisco, the 6 course tasting menu would cost substantially more than the 31USD it is in Siem reap! It’s simply upscale, gourmand food at great prices!

Roasted Pork Shank Curry

BBQ Chicken Sour Soup
Our Tuk-Tuk brought us from the nearby Sala Lodge and we were immediately greeted by the chefs wife who seated us at the best table in the house on the second floor. The table had a lovely window overlooking the restaurants entry and the chef’s fresh vegetable garden below. The view was quite charming and unique. We think we got this nice table because the Sala Lodge front desk called the restaurant, confirmed our reservation and requested the table. It’s all about who you know.

Angkor Stout Slow Cooked Beef Cheek

Tonle Sap Croacker Fish
We decided to try both menus, No.1, as the 6 course option and No. 2 with 5 courses. As the courses started to come out we realized we were having a wonderful, truly fine dining experience in Siem Reap.

Pumpkin, Aged Rum, Banana Crumble Dessert
Service was excellent throughout, not too prompt, the break between courses was perfect for us. At the meal's end, Chef Joannès came out to talk with each diner about the meal which we found truly charming, and he was a nice person too. 

The Chef did an amazing job using local ingredients to highlight the best of Khmer cuisine. The Angkor Stout Beef Cheek with Shiny cresson oyster sauce and fermented chili paste was the highlight. Tonle Sap croacker fish was good on the 5 course menu also.

Every course was incredibly fresh. Sizes were appropriate for the 5 and 6 course tasting menus, not too big, not too small. The cocktails were creative too. And there's a very pleasant, natural feeling ambience upstairs along with professional service. 

We shall Return!

Highly recommended!

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