Khmer BBQ is a bit of a new cultural phenomenon in that originally people would fire up BBQ’s at home for special events, which eventually led to BBQ restaurants becoming a Cambodian thing.
Darany Khmer BBQ is the dost iconic barbecue restaurant in Siem Reap!
Where is Darany?
Theres actually 3 locations in Siem Reap, but the “Darany Number 1” is on 7 Makara Street, the same street as the wonderful Hard Rock Cafe Siem Reap Branch, home of in my opinion at least the best live music in Siem Reap, although I am sure the good people at Hard Rock Siem Reap will get their own blog at some point.
On arrival you will notice a restaurant that is packed to the rafters not matter what the time of day, with there even being overspill seating out on the street. If its a weekend, or worse still a public holiday then good luck getting a seat here! What captivates you right from the off is the loud bustling atmosphere of the place, this is the typical Asian drinking and BBQ scene that I personally love.
How does Khmer BBQ work?
Almost hot pot style in that you get your own heated coals on your table with a grill and of course a menu.
Drinks wise theres a fine section of beers, and of course soju! Whilst soft drinks are left at the table with a hesky of ice for you to help yourselves from.
And then theres meat! Lots and lots of meat, mainly of the beef, pork and chicken variety, although there are a couple of fish options too.
Seeing as I was with the legendary Food Explorer crew, and that I’d also eaten a whole pork adobo prior to arriving I let the other guys order. We went for simple chicken, beef hearts, cow tongue and a load of vegetables, which included spring onions that for some reason are referred to as leeks in these parts…..
We also went for garlic bread, something we get to give a huge thanks to French for. Chinese BBQ might be superior in a number of ways, but you gotta love a bit of fusion cuisine.
And the eating…..
Well you get tongs to cook the food yourself, you cook it to your liking and then you eat it! It really is that simple, we are not exactly reverting the wheel here! But everything about Darany is the atmosphere, full of Khmer and foreigners alike of all social statures getting their food jollies and knocking back as many cans of Cambodian beer as they can manage.
The best Cambodian BBQ in Siem Reap? I think so….