A culinary courtesy to Angkor Wat’s second-best wonder: its beloved local flavours
Here’s a view: contemporary china laden with perfectly grilled meat, decked with a generous helping of vibrant bell peppers and pickled vegetables for an added zing. Mounds of colourful rice are slathered with spices, sprinkled with fragrant herbs. Flowers are not on the vases; they are wonderfully strung atop salads for a palatable take on organic cuisine. Who doesn’t like to eat healthily? The scent of coriander tickles the nose, the gentle taste of ice cream and crisped banana warms the heart.
Beyond the table, there are showstoppers: a beautifully marinated duck and a wide variation of marine produce, all helmed from local sustainable farms. This is a gastronomical dip into Khmer‘s local cuisine, helmed from old-time recipes, all while relishing the view of the legendary Angkor Wat from the windows of Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor.
There is feasting, and there is drinking— these two are tied together for fulfilling merriment of the taste buds and the soul. One has a chance to sip the locally made rice wine in the Circle, or set out into the hotel’s Martini Bar, whose wine library curates signature drinks and Belmond-labelled cocktails — namesake concoctions from different Asian inspirations. Sit on the plush sofas, then take this time to admire the strangely moody artwork draping the walls – they’re pieces from Christian Develter, a Belgian artist. After all, people holding on to their tobacco are nothing short of interesting conservationists, especially in the person of Jack Nicholson, whose many villainous roles prove to be unforgettable; and Marlon Brando, whom everyone tips their hats to as The Godfather. Bask in their presence while enjoying a glass of martini or a Cuban. Brilliant. www.belmond.com ◼
© This article was first published online in August 2019 – World Travel Magazine.