Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cocina Cartel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

One thing why I love traveling with the NKids is because we all love to EAT! No kidding. During our trip to Cambodia, our bags were all filled with chips, snacks, drinks and even chocolates to ensure that no one goes hungry at any point in time. We try to make the most of each meal by researching well on the different restaurants to try both in Phnom Penh and in Siem Reap.

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I will be sharing with you where we went to eat during our trip but let me jump to our very last meal in Phnom Penh. Since we took the late afternoon flight, we had the chance to leisurely have a good lunch before heading to the airport. Our hotel is surrounded by a number of interesting cafes and restaurants that the challenge actually was to choose only two from close to ten options. Since we've been having local Khmer food for the past days, we decided to deviate from it for our last meal. The choice was to try Cocina Cartel, said to be one of the best Mexican restaurants not only in Cambodia but in Asia based on the reviews on Tripadvisor. Woah!

We got there quite early so we were immediately able to get a nice long table for 7. The menu was very simple and easy to understand. First, you choose your meat -- Beef Barbacoa, Shredded Chicken, Pulled Pork or Veggies. Next, you decide if you want it served as a burrito, burrito bowl, quesadilla or tacos (3 pieces). This is followed by a wide-array of toppings or fillings that will go with your meat. You can choose as many as you like! I find this to be really cool and so generous of them. Lastly, choose if you'd like any sides with it.

cocina cartel 1
Paul and I decided to share a Beef Barbacoa Burrito ($6.50) filled with black beans, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and salsa fresca. The burrito was quite big so I was glad that Paul and I just shared one piece as we were still full from our heavy breakfast a few hour before this meal. It was packed with tender stewed beef which perfectly blended so well with all the other fillings that we chose. I love that they served a bowl of mexican rice with refried beans on the side. Needless to say, I was impressed.



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We also got some Chips and more Guacamole ($4) on the side too. The chips was perfectly crisp and lightly salted just the way I love it. We happily enjoyed the creamy fresh guacamole together with our individual orders.

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The Nachos ($6) is a bigger serving of corn chips topped with cheese, beans, lettuce, salsa and jalapenos. I would alternate between this and the Chips and Guacamole from time to time. Yum!

This was indeed a really good last meal in Phnom Penh. It may not be a local cuisine but it's something that has left a good impression and memory about Phnom Penh for me. This is one place you shouldn't miss when in Phnom Penh.

Cocina Cartel is located at 198B street 19, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Visit their website for more details

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