Kampot tales

The view at the Rusty Keyhole.

The view at the Rusty Keyhole and I am not just talking about the ribs.

Kampot is my favorite long weekend destination when a bit of countryside life is needed. Considering its small size (40,000 population), this quirky little riverside town has a large amount of culinary options to choose from.

If I had to make one stop in Kampot for some food, it would have to be the Rusty Keyhole. I have been coming to the Rusty Keyhole for over 5 years now and what keeps me coming back isn’t only the Jurassic sized ribs order but the great hospitality by the owners Kristian and his wife Com. Kristian is a fountain of information if you are into dirt bike riding and with the addition of their 2 year old daughter Kanika, the Keyhole has a great family feel to the place. Over the past year, the Keyhole has moved to a location just outside Kampot town that gives you a slice of countryside life. For those who want to stay in town, Kristian is planning a new location in town and it should be open a couple of weeks from now Its open now!

Okay back to the ribs. They aren’t your typical ribs as Kristian keeps the loin with the order but manages to keeps the meat moist by a closely guarded par-boiling process. The ribs are then grilled to order, a choice of starch is added along with some fresh cut veggies on the side. Heaven on a plate. $6 for a small order, $8 for a large.

Ribs grilling at the Rusty Keyhole in Kampot

Ribs grilling at the Rusty Keyhole in Kampot

Another place that demands recognition is Mea Culpa. A guesthouse located just 5 minutes walk from the center of town, their wood-fired oven pizzas are the goods.

Getting the oven ready for some pies

Getting the oven ready for some pies

Probably the best pizza in Cambodia, the pizzas only take 3 minutes to cook in the 650 degree oven. You can see how much care Ben takes into his final product, inspecting every single plate coming out of the kitchen.I asked Ben, the owner of Mea Culpa, why his pizzas are so damn good and he answered simply “Its all about the crust”.

The crust on the Margherita pizza at Mea Culpa

Nice and firm

I ordered the Margherita pizza ($5.50 for a Medium) which had a generous amount of cheese that didn’t overpower sauce. I also had the feta cheese, tomato and basil dip ($3.00). The punchy tomato sauce was tempered by a generous portion of feta cheese. Homemade melba toast accompanies.

Feta and Basil dip at Mea Culpa in Kampot

Feta and Basil dip at Mea Culpa in Kampot

Some other noteworthy places in Kampot:

Blissful Guesthouse for their amazing duck egg omelettes.

Bamboo Light for Sri Lankan dishes.

Bar Red for their gargantuan late night samosas.

Epic Arts for their gooey chocolate brownie and other pastries.

Rikitikitavi for their 1st floor deck with stunning views of the river. Best place in town for a sunset drink.

Ta Ouv Restaurant for some fresh seafood.

Addresses: Kampot has no street names but it’s a small enough town to get around.

Just ask any tuk tuk driver. Even better, rent a bicycle and do some exploring.

Vinh

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