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Ayotaya

Interior of Ayotaya

Interior of Ayotaya

Ayotaya is a no frills Thai restaurant that is severely lacking on ambiance but inversely makes up for it in flavor. Upon walking in, you have a sense that you have entered a canteen. It’s white walls are bare with a few signs stating daily specials. It also has that living room look that only a canteen in Southeast Asia can have with a few couches in back, a whiteboard with daily specials which are in Thai no-less, and the ubiquitous TV running a very melodramatic dubbed soap opera.

Interior of Ayotaya

Each table comes with your own personal trash bin

The good thing about places like this is the high probability of getting a really good meal. But sometimes you need a ringer to really order the goods. Enter Fon from Hungry Go Where who we gave the undue pleasure of ordering for us and Lina from My Big Fat Face.

And it was so good… 

Fon ordered a total of 6 dishes which included 2 plates of Green Curry Fried Rice ($3.00), Lime Steamed Tilapia ($6.00), a Wing Bean Spicy and Sour Salad ($3.50), Fried Squid in Curry Powder ($4.00) and a side of fried eggs ($2.00).

They were all excellent with the Wing Bean Salad and the Tilapia being my favorites of the meal. The salad was clean and fresh with the Wing Beans giving a great crunchy texture to it. For the Tilapia, I am a huge fan of this Thai preparation and almost always order it when it is available.

The only niggly thing I could say about the meal was the quartered hard-boiled egg as garnish on almost all of the dishes.

All in all, Ayotaya is a great Thai restaurant on the cheap if you can deal with the canteen-like feel of the place.

Vinh

Ayotaya is conveniently situated at st 302 in BKK1. You wont miss the cheerful yellow sign outside Decoration is basic, yet clean and welcoming.

Being Thai, of course I was tasked to order for the other 3 foodies – pressure was on. Fortunately all the dishes we had lived up to the expectation. I was happily to collect the compliments!

Fried squid in curry powder

Fried squid in curry powder

We ordered few things to share; snake beans salad with prawns, steamed river fish with garlic, chillies sauce, green curry chicken fried rice and fried eggs to accompany the curry fried rice.

Snake beans salad with prawn came with light and slightly spiced coconut dressing. It was a hands down everyone’s favourite and personally, I can eat that everyday. Steamed river fish came in a generous portion. We asked for the garlic & chillies sauce to be spicy and the restaurant was not shy to give us that. The sauce offers that perfect sour, spicy and salty combination which compliments the fish really well. We just could not have enough of that.

Green curry fried rice

Green curry fried rice

Last dish, curry fried rice with fried eggs. The dish reminds me of good street food in Bangkok  – rustic and giving home cook feel – Two thumbs up!

There are daily specials on their board every day (in Thai). Just ask what they are if you are curious and want to try something different, their Thai staff will be able to explain to you.

Fon

Ayotaya
No 58 Street 302
BKK 1
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
099 222 408

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Leisurely Sundays

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.

Restaurant signs

Restaurant signs

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.

The view of the river from my hammock

The view of the river from my hammock

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.

Asahi beer in a bucket

Asahi beer in a bucket

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.

Fried squid with  pepper sauce

Fried squid with pepper 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.

Fried pork ribs

Fried pork ribs

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.

Hammocks, hammocks, hammocks

Hammocks, hammocks, hammocks

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.

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