Sundays are usually spent in my flat, ordering delivery, watching DVD’s, and obsessively checking Facebook for status updates. Basically recovering from the excesses of the past 3 days (If Thursday is the new Friday where does that leave Saturday??). So it was a bit of a surprise when my wife and I woke up at a reasonable hour in the morning very refreshed and wondered what the heck to do for the rest of the day.
So we threw around the idea of going out to the hammock bars that are located about 10 KM’s outside Phnom Penh on National Road 6 (the road to Siem Reap). We made some quick texts and planned for our excursion just before lunchtime.
On our respective motorbikes, Bryse and I (with my wife on the back of my trusty Sanyang) we headed on the sometimes dusty National Road 6 to our destination. About 30 minutes of driving, we ended up at our destination. Unfortunately, the lake that the hammock bars is located on is slowly being filled in and left the ambiance of the place a bit wanting. Since we were already out there, we went for an alternative spot which overlooks the Mekong.
We went to a set of hammock bars/restaurants located behind a big wat that you can see from the road (just look to your right about 10 KM’s out of town, make a right into the wat then make a left when the road ends.). There are a few places to choose from so we just decided to pick one and went in.
We ended up at the Royal River Restaurant which was very busy. A good tip: make sure you get to these places at least a half hour before noon if you want a chance at an unobstructed riverside view. We were unfortunately one “table” in and had to look through a group to see the river.
Sorry about the silhouettes. I forgot to bring my flash. Once settled in, we ordered some drinks and three plates of food.
Word to the wise: If you don’t like your drinks warm and cooled down with ice, then these places are not for you.
Bryse ordered Asahi and they actually came immersed in a bucket with water and ice so his managed to stay a bit cold. We were left with sofites with ice. It was quite busy so it took a bit of time for the food to come. After lazing about for 15 minutes or so, we received our food order. We ordered Fried Squid in a Black Pepper sauce, Deep Fried Pork Ribs and a Grilled Whole Fish with a Tamarind and Mango Sauce.
The squid was cooked to perfection. Not too soft and not too rubbery. The ribs, however were a bit overcooked and needed a bit of the lime/pepper sauce that accompanied it.
As for the fish, it was whole which meant all of the guts were still inside. Definitely for the more adventurous gourmand. I didn’t actually take a photo of the fish which actually shows how good it was. The fish was soft and flaky with the unripe mangoes in the sauce giving the dish a bit of texture.
An Asahi, about 3 soft drinks and these 3 dishes came to $21 total which isn’t the cheapest meal in town but great value when you take into consideration the surroundings.
Directions: Cross the Japanese Bridge on National Road 6. When you see the very large wat on your right, make a right. When the road ends, make a left and you should see the restaurants located on the Mekong River.