>> Cambodian Cuisine | Eat the World NYC

03 August 2019

Cambodian Cuisine


[EDITOR'S NOTE: This stall, a regular vendor of the 2019 Queens International Night Market, only seems to use the name "Cambodian Cuisine" at their stand, but is listed as "Phnom Penh Project" on the market website and "Cambodia Now" on their social media.]

Cambodian food has not always had the best relationship with New York City, with restaurants struggling to survive in realms where customers do not know much about the cuisine and rents keep destabilizing the best intentions of chefs. The longest running of these, which also had the simple name of Cambodian Cuisine tried in Brooklyn and the Upper East Side before finally calling it quits. Look hard enough and you might find a pop-up here and there, but nothing earth-shaking. Currently just Angkor Cambodian Bistro offers a permanent home for the cuisine.

With this history, the Queens International Night Market is the perfect place for a fairly new vendor to try and spread the word on an often underrepresented cuisine sandwiched between countries well known for their deliciousness. A surprisingly ambitious menu for a market stall is turning out some great modest renditions of Cambodian cooking and from the looks of it, New York City has the appetite for something new.

Sitting proudly at the top of their menu is amok ($5, above), sometimes referred to as the national dish of Cambodia and a must try. This fish and coconut milk curry is often found steamed within and served on a banana leaf but for the ease of prep here that is used more as a garnish. The flavors of Southeast Asia all shine through here subtly but the sweetness of the coconut curry is most pronounced, with hints of lemongrass and kaffir lime.

Definitely try also the grilled beef ($5, below), skewers of perfectly prepared and marinated to be slightly sweet and nutty as well. If eating as a group, this might be one where you get a portion for everyone as you will end up not wanting to share.

On most evenings the stand makes a mix of caramelized potatoes and bananas, but on this night the potatoes were alone. They get their caramelization from palm sugar and are lightly fried to a really nice consistency. This dish was a bit of a surprise in how well it was enjoyed and does not have to be simply a side. Definitely there will be something to look forward to when the bananas are paired with it next time.

They have a drink worth trying as well called mung bean milk ($4, not shown), a fairly healthy and high protein drink that goes well with all of their offerings. It gets its green color from pandan leaves.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.