We now live in the Boeung Keng Kang 3 (BKK3) commune (i.e. neighborhood) of Phnom Penh. Tonight, since it wasn’t raining (hello, monsoon season!), we wandered around our new hood to check out the local restaurants (i.e. where Cambodians eat, not expats/tourists). We walked 2 blocks and spotted a place that was packed and knew it was our place de jour. No clue what the name was as their sign was not in English (on the corner of Streets 113 and 350).
We walked in, and there were no free tables. Two Cambodian men, who were just sitting down, politely invited us to share their table, so we took them up on their offer!
We learned that you needed to go to the grill on the street and order your food. I boldly went and discovered I had three choices: duck, chicken feet and frog. Ummmm… duck?!
Went back to the table and the men instructed us to squeeze fresh lime into the small bowls of local salt and pepper to make a paste. We dunked each piece of duck into it before eating. The small duck was cut into tiny pieces and we pulled at the tough skin to uncover the tiny bits of meat underneath. Truth be told, there was a lot of tugging on the skin and not much meat. We looked around, and everyone was in the same boat, so we went with it.
The two Cambodian men spoke a little English, so we conversed a bit throughout the meal. I shared I had never eaten frog and was scared, so of course they ordered some and encouraged me to try it. I was scared at first, but his thigh looked so big and juicy, I needed to try. And I did! And it tasted like chicken! And I liked it! A lot!! There was an awesome spice rub on it and I ate his leg (Andreas had the other) and some of his body. Yum! Definitely over my fear of frogs and will order it again!
Wish I had more pictures to capture this evening, but decided to go low-tech with no phone or purse. Thanks, Andreas, for capturing my trepidation!
One thing that made me curious… I noticed there were ~40 people in the restaurant. All men. No women. Except me. Why? All single men after work? Wives at home with the kids? Maybe it’s not odd, but I observed it and curious to learn more (if you know, please let me know!).
Proud of us for getting out of our comfort zone and eating at a new place where we were the only foreigners, the owners spoke little English, I tried frog for the first time and we sat with new friends. Yay us!
What shall I eat next?!?!