After arriving in Siem Reap a few days ago, I of course started trying to find some authentic local Cambodian food, since I’ve never been to this country before.
I looked around online and also saw a list of recommended restaurants at the hotel, which has been great in its support of Cambodian culture and social awareness in general.
One recommendation particularly stood out for me, and it also helped that reviews online were extremely positive and it was within a short walk from me! So I headed out for dinner after a long day of site seeing within the Angkor grounds and was excited to try out some delicious food.
Green Star doesn’t just have good food, but helps support an organization called Green Gecko, an NGO that helps former street children in Siem Reap that used to beg to survive. It provides them with housing, food, and educational opportunities.
I started out by trying the Khmer Hot Pot with eel (snake was the other option if available, and I did ask but they didn’t have it at the time). Normally I don’t love eel, and rarely eat it when at a Japanese restaurant, but decided to stick with it even though the super friendly staff said I could change it for chicken or something else.
When the soup arrived, it smelled amazing, and the broth was delicious, flavoured with lemongrass, coconut water, and kaffir lime leaves! There was napa cabbage and a little bit if lettuce, along with the pieces of eel. I do have to say while I’m glad I tried it and would eat the hot pot again with a different protein, the look of the eel put me off a but. Afterward, the server told me that he doesn’t usually like eel either, and I had to laugh.
I also tried the fried corn. Now this was so amazing! While I was quite full with such a large hot pot as well, I downed every last kernel and would’ve happily had more! It was fried and super hot, in butter with green onions and I can’t stop thinking about it!
The restaurant itself is located at the Southern end of Wat Bo Road, and the sign has faded and is difficult to see. I had to look closely to know I was in the right place, but at night there is a lit up green star on the outside that should mark your way. There are multiple tables outside with red plastic chairs, and a small bar inside and lounge seating area. I arrived when it just opened at 6 pm for dinner, and by the time I left after 7, the place was filled to the brim with foreigners who had likely found out about it online or from their hotels. There were also quite a few expats and repeat customers, even within a single stay in Siem Reap, from what I could tell based on the conversations with other patrons.
Now that I’ve extended my stay here for a couple more nights at least, I’ll definitely be heading back to try out the Spicy Duck and the Grilled Frog, at the very least!
Green Star Restaurant (not for profit)
South end of Wot Bo Road (T-Inersection)
Wat Dam Nak
Kingdom of Cambodia
Avee – 092 255 241 (Khmer & English)
Doug – 089 411 830 (English)
Food: I’ll try more and update as I do!