La Rose Restaurant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
One of the best decisions that we've made during our trip to Cambodia was to hire David as our tour guide. You see, there are no cabs around both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap so to go around either you walk or take a tuktuk. Since there were 7 of us, it was wise to avail of a full shuttle service that will allow us to follow our own schedule and to be able to maximize on our itinerary too. It was indeed worth every penny as we were all well taken cared of complete with a daily supply of ice cold water. If only David can supply Wi-Fi in his van too to save us from boredom during the 6 hours drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and back, that would have just been perfect. Well, you can't have it all.
So, on our first day, after visiting the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center / Killing Fields, we asked our driver Sim to recommend a good Khmer restaurant for lunch. Sim immediately knew where to take us and off we went to La Rose Restaurant. To be honest, I've never heard of La Rose as I only took note of the top 10 restaurant listed in Tripadvisor but to be ranked 45th out of 700++ restaurants is pretty amazing too.
Paul got the Stir-Fried Beef Lok Lak ($6.50) which is similar to the Filipino Beef Tapa. Quite interesting that it's also served with rice and fried egg. The only difference is that the beef lok lak has a more sour-salty taste instead of the usual sweet-salty blend that we're all used to. It was a bit chewy but was very tasty nonetheless. No wonder my sister loved the lok lak very much that she even brought home packets of the lok lak powder for us to cook at home.
On the other hand, I went with my friend D's recommendation and ordered the Fish Amok ($5.85). It was delicious! This was my first taste of amok and I loved loved loved it! I loved it so much that I would try to order amok in every single meal. I've tried it also in different varieties like chicken amok, veggie amok, shrimp amok and yet the Fish Amok was my #1 favorite. I love the creamy curry flavor that paired perfectly well with my bowl of steaming white rice.
La Rose is a Spa, Boutique and a Restaurant too. No wonder we were greeted with the comforting sent of lavender as we entered the restaurant. We were the only ones there making us feeling a bit doubtful if Sim really did brought us to the right place. Well, let's see how the food fared.
I just have to say that I love how affordable basically everything is in Cambodia. This was indeed a budget-friendly trip and we actually ate so much and went pretty much all out in trying various things too still it didn't cause much of a dent on our travel budget. A-m-a-z-i-n-g!
La Rose also offers Set Meals ($16) where you get 3 viands, rice, soup and dessert. Quite worth it, if you ask me as the serving was generous enough to be shared by two people.
Well, we're thankful that Sim brought us to try La Rose and it was indeed a good way to introduce us to local Khmer food.