Fork It: Smell the Aroma

Jody Hanson, Ph.D, And Billy Otter / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

If in doubt, try the fish amok.
PHNOM PENH, (Khmer Times) – Smack-dab in the middle of total-tourist – namely Street 172 – is a restaurant that offers a slice of home for the world-weary traveler or those who just want a good meal.
North Americans can tuck into a Royal Deluxe Burger, complete with all the trimming and fries ($3.75). Aussies can opt for the pumpkin soup ($3.00). Brits can order bangers and mash ($5.50) or bubble & squealed – hey, that is what the menu says and we just hope it didn’t hurt too much. Indians – and those who like the cuisine – can pick from a separate menu. Health-food types can munch on fruit muesli with yogurt ($3.00). Vegetarians can be reminded they are saving the planet with the stir-fried morning glory ($2.00) or the green curry ($3.00). Italians can imagine they are back in Milan with the pasta offerings.
Sides? Fried mushroom come in at $2.00, garlic bread at $1.25 and vegetable tempura at $2.25.  
Sokeng – the manager who has been on the premises for 12 of the 14 months that Aroma has been open – offers recommendations. “If you want Khmer food, the chicken amok ($3.50) is very good. But if you want western food, the chicken cordon blue ($5.25) is popular with foreigners.”
Need a breakfast to recover from the-night-before? Go for the Aroma Chef’s XXL option ($4.50). Unless you need to soak up a serious amount of alcohol – or have a friend to share it with – be prepared to waddle away from the table. Another option is to order the 75 cent draft or the passion fruit mojito ($2.00) to bite the hair of the dog. 
On the topic of drinks, happy hour lasts all day and standard cocktails are $2.00. The more exotic ones – like the Blue Lagoon and the Pineapple Daiquiri – come in at $3.50.
According to Steve – a British guy who is biking across South East Asia and using Phnom Penh as a bit of a base – Aroma is good value. “I’ve come here quite often and the food is consistently good. And the staff are really friendly and helpful.”
The delightful twist about Aroma is that anything goes. Consequently, it has developed a bit of a cult following with local expats who have been going there frequently. Rock up with your own bottle of wine? No problem, they will provide the glasses. Not on the menu? Ask and they will make it they can. Use the free wi-fi all day? Nobody cares. 
Go. Eat. Relax. Enjoy. 
Aroma Chef
#67 Street 172
From 07:00 to late 

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