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Following a period of refurbishment, the acclaimed fine dining venue, Restaurant Le Royal, has reopened in Phnom Penh. A backdrop of original artwork, gleaming white walls and a bank of arched windows overlooking a lush courtyard, provides the sophisticated setting in which to sample both authentic Royal Khmer cuisine and a more contemporary take on Khmer gastronomy. The restaurant is found within the 90-year-old esteemed Raffles Le Royal.

Royal recipes

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The menu post-relaunch includes regally-inspired dishes such as: Nhoam Svay (green mango salad with grilled prawns, Nuoc Mam sauce and peanuts); Phlea Trey Tonle (marinated bar fish cured with lime, lemongrass and a homemade spice mixture); Kd’arm Trung Kroeung Stuffed Crab (crab shell, coriander root, dried chilli and fresh herbs); Takeo River Lobster Amok (served in young coconut with steamed rice); Chek Chhoeng Skar (pan-fried caramelized banana with orange sauce) and Num Khmer Bai Mouk (a trio of Khmer sweets: sticky rice, taro cake and sweet potato). While those seeking to sample more modern cooking styles can try plates including: Marinated Beef Carpaccio (cured with lime, chilli and garlic, mixed fresh herbs, spiced foam); Kandal Province Pumpkin Soup (open foie gras ravioli, coconut cream); US Scallops, Amok Reduction (baby bok choy, river fish and curry cake); Seared Duck Breast (kale, garlic oyster sauce, organic rice); and Flambeed Banana (caramel banana mousse, crumble banana chips, sponge cake).

Read our guide to the best hotels in Phnom Penn

Destination dining

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The hotel itself has recently been voted the best in Cambodia, by readers of the US-based travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler in its annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Dating back to 1929, it accommodates 175 bedrooms and suites, all of which were fully refurbished following a one-year restoration project in 2019. And its premier dining room is also regarded as one of Cambodia’s finest places to eat. Open from Monday to Saturday, dinner service begins at 6 pm. A pianist serenades diners by playing traditional Cambodian classics from the golden era, plus there are regular sabrage ceremonies.

“Restaurant Le Royal offers an extraordinary dining experience with Royal Khmer recipes that have been handed down to Raffles Hotel Le Royal by decree from the royal palace. It’s an authentic, distinctive and truly memorable place,” said Executive Chef Martin Becquart.

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