Love at first bite – Viroth’s, Siem Reap, Cambodia

I got my first taste of Khmer cuisine, at Viroth’s in Siem Reap, about nine year ago when I first visited Cambodia. Then, there were very few mid-to-upmarket restaurants. My partner and I heard about Viroth’s and how the owners, Fabien Martial and Kol Viroth, transformed daily Khmer food into cuisine worthy of the world stage. And that’s how our wonderful exploration of Khmer cuisine began.

I’m glad that after all these years, Viroth’s hasn’t changed much. I like the comfort of familiarity, the scarlet orangey interior decoration remains the same and the food continues to impress.

Viroth's Restaurant, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Viroth’s is well-known for its signature Grilled Pork Chops. The pork chops are marinated in soya sauce and it comes with a small side salad. I love how the layer of caramelised soya sauce adds so much flavour to the succulent pork chops. The meat was juicy and flavourful. They were so good that my partner couldn’t help to pick up the bones and clean off any remaining meat on it.

Grilled Pork Chops

The Chicken Lemon Soup is rather unique. It is similar to its Thai counterpart’s Tom Yum Soup but it has a slightly tartier tang to it and has none of the spiciness found in its Thai counterpart. Infused with fresh lime, lemon tree leaves and local herbs, the Chicken Lemon Soup is refreshing and light.

Chicken Lemon Soup

If you like squids, the Spicy Squids is another dish you may want to consider. It’s not as fiery as it sounds. The chilli gave the squids a little more bite.

spicy squids

The Amok Fish is a traditional Khmer cuisine and it is served in any decent Khmer restaurant. It reminds me of the Southeast Asian’s Otar, grilled fish paste wrapped in banana leaf. But the Amok Fish is served in a much bigger portion and it’s steamed. The fish paste is mixed with local herbs and lemon grass before it is steamed together with coconut milk. The paste is moist and mouth-watering. The coconut milk and herbs managed to strike a delicate balance without overpowering each other.

fish amok

Over the years, Viroth’s has maintained its food quality and managed to capture its fair share of loyal customers. Despite the proliferation of newer restaurants, Viroth’s has a special place in my heart. It introduces me to the exotic Khmer cuisine and to me, it’s definitely one of the better restaurants that deserve multiple visits.

Viroth’s Restaurant
246 Street Wat Bo
Siem Reap, Angkor, Cambodia
Tel: +855 0 12826 346

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