After exchanging several comments about Domrei Restaurant's mellow and quaint vibe from multiple walks down street 188 in Phnom Penh, we decide to give it a shot. Fronted by a large courtyard with tables that stretch to the back bar and a small open-air interior section, eating at Domrei feels like having a meal at a French Diplomat’s home. When we arrive, the restaurant is completely empty, but after an hour the courtyard is full of couples like us, sharing a quiet dinner in the beautiful garden.
Following a popular trend in Phnom Penh, Domrei offers a modern take on traditional Khmer cuisine. The menu includes many Khmer favorites including Cambodia’s "national dish", fish amok, as well as various curries, spring rolls, chive/coconut cakes, lort cha, and banh xeo, all delicately cooked and served beautifully.
We start with (our daily fix of) fresh vegetable spring rolls that include a generous addition of fresh mint and a light, spicy, chili sauce, as well as Cambodian chive cakes that are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. We then opt for Domrei’s lort cha, with fresh vegetables and a fried egg on top, as well as the banh xeo, a perfectly prepared crispy crepe filled with coconut meat and served with greens and fresh herbs to wrap it all together. Draft beers and ice coffees at $1.00 are the perfect accompaniments to our favorite meal in Phnom Penh.
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