Olive, Cuisine de Saison: My best meal in Siem Reap

olive

I’ve tried the full range of food in the 11 months I’ve been in Siem Reap from my fresh street baguette to five-course meals in higher-end restaurants in town. I don’t care what the price is, but anyone who dines out a lot knows that paying more money doesn’t necessarily mean better flavour. I always come back to a restaurant ultimately because of the flavour.

I had cousins in town for six days in Siem Reap and I have been very disappointed with our US $15 to $26 meals in restaurants for their bland and unmemorable taste. I’d rather have just gone to one of my good friend’s street restaurants and have bought my favourite stir-fried yellow noodle for $1.50 and I would have been more satisfied.

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But when I tried Olive, Cuisine de Saison for the first time I was immediately blown away by the flavours, timing of the food and professionalism of the staff. They probably have one of the most well-trained staff in Siem Reap.

So far I have tasted the wild mushroom soup, which the staff kindly substituted meat for a pasta (US $6), the seabass and risotto (US$12) and the caramelized banana and ice cream (I can’t remember the price). Even the complimentary bread was superbly done by toasting the outside just enough to be crisp while maintaining the soft texture inside.
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The portions are great and the fish could easily be shared between two people. When I took a bite of my friend’s dessert and it was the best whipping cream I’ve ever had in my life! The flavour of the ice cream was very unique too.

My cousin thought the chef was French but he’s actually Cambodian and the food is consistently on time and well executed. I will most certainly be coming back with my friends on a regular basis.

 

 

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My first apartment guests in Siem Reap

Old friends and new friends eating omelet and baguette. 

I just moved to a simple apartment in Siem Reap and wanted at least a place that was big enough to host at least a few guests. I’m off Wat Bo, one of the major roads that runs parallel to the Siem Reap River.

I go out a lot of late nights either for dinners at people’s houses, dancing or at restaurants, so I needed to make sure I chose a place where I feel very safe coming home late night. The latest I’ve come back so far is 4:00 a.m. and I’ve had no problems and feel very comfortable cycling back each time.

I was very happy to cook dinner for my Khmer (Cambodian) friends who have come over so far. My friends have cooked for me at their places many times, even when I’ve come last-minute and it’s been great to be able to open up my space for other people to come.

I love my area because it’s mostly Cambodian families so I always see kids playing in the courtyard and my neighbours are very friendly and say hello. In the first week I moved in, my neighbour said I can use any of his kitchenware anytime if I’m short on something and has been very helpful. Him and his friend have invited me a few times to join them for meals.

This is my friend’s friend whom I just met the night she came over with her adorable little sister. I’m happy that she said her sister felt comfortable in my place, which she often isn’t in new spaces.

Ready for cake.

Halloween Highlights in Siem Reap

I’m days late posting, my internet connection has been bad. October 31 was my first Halloween in Siem Reap, Cambodia and I wasn’t sure how many people would dress up but there were many locals and expats who went all out with makeup and costumes.

My night started with a very quiet dinner with close friends. Then we went into town, ran into other friends and made new ones. We went to the gay bar, expat bar then the club on Pub Street. Yes, there is a place called Pub Street where the tourists and locals go to get smashed. But going totally sober is also a fun experience because you get to watch everyone.

I forgot my mask at home so that’s why I’m not dressed in any of the pictures.

My friends and regular dance buddies.

Pub Street

A very typical night on Pub Street except people are in costumes.

One of my great friends Cho.

Ladyboy in Siem Reap

Halloween ladybody

No comment.

I met a tigress

Date for the night?

Another friend and regular dance buddy.

More Halloween ladyboys.