Siem Reap’s most attention-grabbing Cambodian cuisine, pictured above, is surprisingly its most traditional, coming out of the rustic upstairs kitchen of Pou Restaurant, in a un-renovated traditional wooden house. In a brown t-shirt, chef Mork Mengly cooks over coals on a clay brazier of the kind that is found in most Cambodian homes, which his ancestors cooked on for thousands of years. He whooshes away a few flies lured by the enticing aromas. Mengly has had the least experience of this clutch of young Cambodian chefs, cooking in small boutique hotels, a bar, cafe, and hospitality training restaurant, Spoons, before opening his casual Cambodian restaurant last year. Pou’s recent success is no surprise when you see Mengly’s vibrant plates with their grids and licks of color and abundance of edible flowers that enliven the table. For all their creativity, what is being dished up is very traditional. “All I am doing is presenting our local ingredients that people don’t normally see – like a beehive and red ants – in new ways with beautiful plating. A lot of people travel for food and I want to serve the local food.” article by Grantourismo
Pou Kitchen and Café
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