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A couple of weeks ago, my friend, Claudia, sent me a text suggesting that we get together for lunch, to enjoy great food, and each other's company.  She knows that when it comes to eating, I'm very adventurous, so she suggested we meet for lunch at Taste of Angkor, to enjoy authentic Cambodian cuisine.  I jumped at the chance, as I've never had the chance to savor the fine cuisine of Cambodia.

Photo:  Taste of Angkor is located in a small strip mall, in south Sacramento, and offers plenty of easy parking.  A sandwich board is located outside the restaurant posting daily specials.  My face lit up in a smile as I noticed the store located next door to them, as the store multi-tasks:  Computer repair, wireless service, and a smoke shop, all rolled into one, pardon the pun.  That seems to me to be an interesting combination...

Photo:  The dining room is squeaky clean, spacious, and very comfortable.  My friend Claudia and I chose a late sitting, as we prefer to dine when things aren't quite as busy, as it makes for easier photo-taking, and it's easier to chit-chat with the staff when they aren't as busy.  Friendly Panda, one of the servers, can be seen to the right of the photo, delivering a delicious lunch to happy diners.  It's 2 o'clock in the afternoon on Monday, February 15, 2016, and we're looking forward to a delicious lunch.

Photo:  We weren't in a hurry, so we spent at least 10 minutes looking over the menu, and trying to figure out what to order.  Claudia had visited Taste of Angkor once with a friend, but the only dish she could remember of ordering was Kapoon, which was tops on our list.  So finally we decided just to ask a simple question:  "What is the most authentic Cambodian dish on your menu, no holds barred?"  We got our answer, as friendly Amora brings our order to the table.  Note the steam rising from the stew, as it's HOT!  Read on...

Photo:  Quite a lunch!  Since Claudia and I are very adventurous when it comes to dining, we decided to "mix and match" our lunch, e.g. order a bunch of different items and share them, which is a fun thing to do with friends.  The friendly staff was very happy to bring us a couple of smaller bowls, so we could ladle soup from the big bowls into the smaller bowls, and we even had individually-sized plates to match.  The dining utensils included chop sticks - neither my friend nor I are adept with them - fork, knife and a Chinese-style plastic spoon.  

In this photo, I'll give you an overview of our lunch; details will be in later photos.  Left to right:  Veggie garnishes that are included with an order of Beef Curry, Somlah Kari Sach Koh (beef curry,) bowl of steamed rice, baguette, and the main attraction, Kapoon.  We ordered a large bowl of Kapoon, as we really wanted to pig-out, and we knew this would be our favorite entree.  After our order arrived, we decided to splurge, and order Plea Sach Koh, which is probably the most exotic salad that I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

I was truly surprised by the baguette, as associate a baguette with a French restaurant, but Claudia reminded me that Cambodia, along with much of Southeast Asia, was colonized by the French - remember French Indochina? - so it's logical that a baguette was included with the order of Somlah Kari Sach Koh.  By the say, the Somlah Kari Sach Koh was on the "Lunch Special" menu at a very reduced price, which is always a good thing.

We mixed, matched, and shared the entire lunch, which is the fun thing to do when you're dining with a wonderful friend...

Photo:  My friend and dining companion, Claudia Moung, and I site at the table, and prepare to enjoy a delicious lunch of Cambodian cuisine.  Thanks, Amora, for snapping the photo.  Claudia had been to Taste of Angkor once, and although I'm very familiar with Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, today was a first for me, as I had never enjoyed Cambodian cuisine!  Taste of Angkor has carved a niche in the Sacramento dining scene, as they are the ONLY restaurant in the Sacramento metro area that offers the taste of Cambodia.

Photo:  Somlah Kari Sach Koh - can you pronounce it? - along with the complimentary plate of bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, lime, and mint that is included with this delicious lunch.  Basically, it's Cambodia's version of beef stew, and contains beef, stewed potatoes and carrots, along with curry, in a savory coconut and kroeng broth, with a little peanut thrown in.  As noted in the previous photo, a toasted baguette is included.  It's delicious, but if I closed my eyes and didn't know that I was in a Cambodian restaurant, I'd think I was eating beef stew.  Don't get me wrong... this dish is a winner, and Claudia and I cleaned up every bit of it.

Photo:  Here's where the rubber meets the road, the star of our lunch:  Kapoon.  I asked our friendly server for her recommendation of the most authentic Cambodian dish, and she recommended Kappon.  Since Claudia and I are world-class eaters, we ordered a large bowl to enjoy.

Now you ask, what is Kapoon?  It's a thick soup, featuring thick vericeli noodles, boneless chicken, quail eggs, pork blood - optional, but we ordered it, naturally - bamboo noodles, all cooked together in a curry/coconut broth.  We ordered the large bowl, and we were glad we did, as we were sharing our lunch, and cleaned up every drop of this delicious soup.

Photo:  Here's a close-up photo of the Somlah Kari Sach Koh, showing the richness of the broth, and the amazing texture of the stew.  This stew is delicious, and tastes very similar to beef stew, with just a hint of curry. Thanks to my friend and dining companion, Claudia Moung, for providing the photo.

Photo:  Claudia is enjoying a bowl of Kapoon, as I snap her photo, along with the spread of dishes for our wonderful lunch.  The staff at Taste of Angkor provides individual bowls, which makes it convenient for sharing the lunch, family-style.  Note the gigantic bowl of Kapoon; between the two of us, we cleaned it up.  Note the tea kettle and the small bowl to the left of the photo, as Claudia like to drink hot water with her food, to combat the sometimes spicy taste.  

Photo:  After our lunch arrived, and since we were in a festive mood, we decided to order Plea Sach Koh, which is a very traditional Cambodian beef salad.  OK, what is this?  It's an authentic Cambodian dish, composed of raw - uncooked - beef salad, with the beef cured in lime juice, along with fermented fish, and served with peppers, onion, herbs, peanuts, on lettuce leaves.  Naturally, the beef includes tripe.

The flavor:  Delicious.  The heat:  High.  Actually, the menu offers three heat setting:  Mild, medium or hot.  We chose medium... middle ground, so to speak.  In the case of Plea Sach Koh, medium heat was way too much for me, as I ate a few spoons of this delicious salad, and then the heat arrived, in force!  I gave the rest to Claudia, as she handles the heat better than I do.

Quite a dining experience!  Now that I've sampled Cambodian cuisine, I can say that I truly love it!  At Taste of Angkor, the food is delicious, the staff is very friendly and efficient, and the dining room is comfortable, and squeaky clean.  For a delicious and exotic dining experience, pay a visit to Taste of Angkor, for a wonderful Cambodian dining experience.

Taste of Angkor
4566 Mack Road
Sacramento, CA 95823
916 917-5630

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