One of the recent food trends that I have missed while living in Cambodia has been the renaissance of the humble burger.
Luckily, residents of Phnom Penh only have to travel 5 hours by bus (1 by air) to Cafe De La Paix in Siem Reap to get our gourmet burger fix. Locals in the know have been buzzing about the burger since it’s inclusion to the menu last year. Co-created by head chef, Bryan Gardner and former executive chef Joannes, the combination of the custom ground beef patty, spongy non sweet bun and relatively cheap price ($5 USD) made this burger an instant hit with the expat community.
Now Bryan has expanded the menu to include gourmet burger where the most expensive of the bunch (the French) runs at a paltry $8 USD. I happened to be in Siem Reap for some work last week but couldn’t find the time to make it over there to try the new additions. Luckily, I ran into Bryan at the Funky Monkey quiz and convinced him to make me a couple of burgers before my bus left at 9 in the morning.
At 8:00 AM sharp, I met my friend Will who lives in Siem Reap at the Cafe and ordered 2 burgers: the French and the De La Paix.
Inside the French was fried egg, whole grain mustard aioli, cornichon pickle, swiss cheese and corchon ham along with the obligatory lettuce and tomato.
I generally hate fried egg on burgers but for this one, the egg gave a richness to the burger that I found appealing. Kinda like an Egg McMuffin on steroids.
The De La Paix was equally as tasty as caramelized onions always works well with cheddar and bacon.
It also had a homemade roasted capsicum sauce that tasted like a more luxurious version of Heinz ketchup.
Completely full and enjoying the high, I left Will to his newspaper and headed to the bus station where I just barely arrived, jumped in the Apsara Khmer mini bus, plopped down in my seat (#10!) and promptly fell asleep in a food coma.
Traveling should always be this good.
Cafe De La Paix
Inside Hôtel de la Paix on Sivutha Blvd
Siem Reap, Cambodia