In a country that prides itself on its eclectic array of culinary delights, it’s perhaps surprising that there is only one Cambodian restaurant in Singapore. Khmer Delight is owned by the lovely Alicia and her Singaporean husband Andrew, who cooks genuine Cambodian dishes in a style to suit Western and local palates.
Often disregarded as Thailand’s less spicy and poorer neighbour, it doesn’t help that the Cambodia’s most famous dish is deep-fried tarantulas and crickets. But step inside this unassuming restaurant in Siglap and you’ll discover plenty of much tastier things to put in your mouth.
Try the banana blossom with chicken ($8.90) to refresh the palate, then pick at some mini yam and pork spring rolls ($5.90). The Signature Soup ($4.90) has a chicken stock base with a surprising hint of pineapple that drifts through once you’ve swallowed it.
For mains, the two standout dishes are fish amok ($11.90) and lok lak ($18.90).
The first is a very popular Cambodian fish curry served in a banana leaf. It doesn’t taste fiercely of fish, but has a complex flavour of different spices, headed up by lemongrass, in a coconut base. It’s great with rice, but Alicia also recommended scooping the curry up with a fresh prawn cracker – even yummier.
Lok kak is essentially stir-fried beef cubes served with slices of cucumber, tomato and onion. It’s surprisingly light as the beef is tender, and the peppery sauce adds a bit of a kick.
Khmer Delight isn’t fine dining, and neither should it be. Traditional Cambodian food is served at home and eaten with the hands. Here, you feel almost like a guest in Alicia and Andrew’s home. Their restaurant combines the best of authentic Cambodian fare with all the great things about eating out: excellent service, a good atmosphere and no washing-up.