Cambodian food is relatively similar to Thai and Vietnamese food. It’s worth seeking out restaurants serving traditional Cambodian (Khmer) food and do try the street food stalls. Freshwater fish, in particular, is delicious. Amok is a form of coconut milk curry (made with meat or fish) that is delicious. Khmer Red Curry is less hot than its Thai cousin, made of beef, chicken or fish it’s still coconut-milk based just without the kick!
For the more adventurous, try Red Tree Ants with beef and holy basil – insects on the menu is very common in Cambodia, served with thin slices of stir-fried beef, shallots, ginger, garlic & lemongrass.
From the street food stalls try fried noodles (mi char), stir-fried beef topped with salad wrapped up in a lettuce leaf (Lok lak), a chive cake simply made from rice flour with chives, pan-fried and dipped in fish sauce or a simple sausage on a skewer served with a side salad and baguette. If you want to truly immerse yourself in Cambodian street food try Balut – a fertilised duck egg complete with embryo…
There are plenty of restaurants in Phnom Penh that will serve western food but you will pay for the pleasure!
Iced coffee (café toek doh koh toek gok) is big in Cambodia – the special ingredient? Condensed milk. To quench the thirst try fresh coconut juice. For alcohol, the principal lagers are Angkor and Anchor but western lagers can be found especially in the larger tourist spots. Palm wine and rice wine are available in the remoter areas.
Tap water is not safe to drink. It’s not environmentally friendly, but drink bottled water instead.