Dinner at Battanbang

Last night we went to Battambang for dinner, it has been our favorite Cambodian restaurant since we discovered it about five years ago. The tiny restaurant is cute and with its dark yellow walls and framed paintings of Cambodian river scenes it could even be considered elegant if it wasn’t so crowded. But crowded it is – there is barely any room for patrons to walk, and unless you’re lucky you may have to share a long table with another party. Even then, expect a wait if you arrive for dinner after 7 PM.
Fortunately, we got there a few minutes later so we were sat immediately. The menu hadn’t changed much since our last visit. It still includes a very long selection of appetizers, soups, curries and meat and vegetable dishes. Appetizers and soups average $6-10, while main dishes are $7-15 (most are $7-8). Portions are on the small side, plan on getting an appetizer at least to share or ordering rice ($1 per person).
We started with an order of lawt, “crispy Cambodian style srping rolls with ground pork, bean thread, onion and ground peanuts”, served with a pickle and vinegar sauce ($6). The bite-size spring rolls where crispy and flavorful and quite good with the sweet & vinegary sauce. I’d order them again.
We then had one of our favorites, the sach ko chomkak, a “char-broiled beef shish kebab marinated with lemon grass, spices and ground peanuts served with pickle and lime sauce” ($8). The three kebabs were tender and delicious, they have a clear char-broiled taste and their flavor is only enhanced by the sauce. My only gripe is that there wasn’t enough sauce to soak all the rice we ordered – next time I’ll order extra.
We also ordered the Battambang Noodles, “pan-fried soft rice noodles with chicken, egg, bean sprouts, green onion, ground chili and peanuts in tamarind sauce” ($7). This dish is reminiscent of Pad Thai, though I didn’t find it as flavorful or delicious. I did, however, appreciate how tender both the noodles and the bean sprouts are (I don’t like crunchy vegetables). It’s also one of those dishes that you start eating and can’t get enough of. I’d order it again.
Service was good, though rushed, by the two lone waitresses who had to take care of the whole restaurant. One of them apologized for it, but it was actually better than in other occasions.
You can read my old review of Battmbang here

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