Embassy Restaurant, Siem Reap
On our last night in Siem Reap, we were pleasantly surprised to be invited to Embassy Restaurant to dine. Rather unprepared for fine dining, we showed up to the restaurant in flip flops and casual wear. But thankfully most of the people there seemed to be in casual or semi-casual attire as well. It was the night of the Khmer New Year, and people were running around the streets, shops and hotels shooting others with water guns. So it was understandable that we showed up to the restaurant slightly soaked and unkempt.
It was nice to see that the restaurant remained opened during the celebrations. We had tried to make reservations at other restaurants during the weekend and it was almost impossible. So it was pure luck that we got into Embassy at such short notice. When we got to the restaurant at 9pm, it was still packed. As soon as we sat down and started our meal, we could understand why.
We’ve been to a number of fine dining restaurants, and while service has been good at most of them, few are as outstanding as Embassy Restaurant.
Every single floor staff spoke fluent English and could attend to all our needs without a shred of hesitation. They knew the menu well and could explain each dish with the flair of a native English speaker.
The dinner set menu ($28.00) we were being treated to was a 7-course affair, starting with an amuse bouche, followed by two starters, a palate cleanser, two mains and a dessert.
We chose not to go with the wine pairing (add $22.00), but instead, chose to go with just a glass of wine ($4.50) for the whole meal. As soon as we confirmed that we were happy with the set menu and chose our wine, the food came out piping hot. It was barely a 5 minute wait.
The amuse bouche, which is a lovely baby tomato sauce and dry buffalo from “Stoung village”, was an impressive start to the meal. The sweetness of the tomato sauce paired with the slightly salty buffalo made for a very appetising start to the meal.
Next, we were served a lotus stem salad with slow cooked pork belly. Lotus is a popular ingredient used in Khmer cuisine and we were happy to see it was incorporated in our meal.
Embassy Restaurant does an amazing job at keeping true to its roots by using plenty of locally sourced, fresh ingredients and maintaining the authenticity of the flavours.
Our appetiser was followed by a soup. The soup, which had a focal point made of grilled sanday fish, was a perfect balance of clean flavours with the slight spice from the black pepper.
For the palate cleanser, we were given a butterfly pea flower sorbet, mixed with rice alcohol. We were quite surprised at how strong the alcohol was, but it gave us a pleasant warmth and definitely prepared us for the mains.
Our first main was a charcoal grilled eggplant dish. I’m not typically a fan of eggplant but it was an easy dish to enjoy. The charcoal flavours were prominent in the eggplant, which made it enjoyable.
For the second main, our protein was chicken, a nice change from the copious amounts of fish we’ve had during our entire trip. We were very impressed with the tender honey roasted chicken and mashed jackfruit. I had never tried anything quite like the mashed jackfruit. It was perfectly savoury and something you don’t expect to get out of the dish.
Another interesting element of this dish is the red tree ant sauce that came with it. I had seen red tree ants on many menus during our trip but dared not try. Knowing the Chefs are experts and also the fact that it’s a pretty famous fine dining restaurant in Siem Reap, we had no concerns about trying it here.
It had a sweetness to it, which when coupled with the honey in the chicken, brought the dish together so beautifully.
Finally, we were served an indulgent dessert. If you love pandan and coconut, this dessert is absolute heaven. The pandan is incorporated into a rice cake (or better known in Malaysia and Singapore as “Kuih”) and then paired with coconut ice cream. This is the quintessential Southeast Asian dessert and we were so blown away by how these ingredients that we take in our daily lives in Southeast Asia, can be made into such a delicate, yet comprehensive dessert.
At the end of the meal, our server came with a surprise. Every guest is treated to Embassy Restaurant’s macarons which are made with cashew instead of almond. This was a lovely ending to an already perfect meal.
Overall, we felt that this was the most value for money fine dining experience we have ever had. Out of our experiences in KL, Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta, this has proven to be one of the most down-to-earth and authentic local fine dining experiences.
The menu at Embassy Restaurant changes every month. Be sure to make a reservation at the Embassy Restaurant website to avoid disappointment as tables get booked out quickly, especially on weekends and public holidays.
Street 27, King's Road Village,
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Open daily from 6PM - 11PM