The Touich Restaurant Bar

Sep 11, 2010 No Comments by

Oh where to start…  I seriously have no idea where to begin with this post.  I’ll just state upfront that this was by far the best restaurant and eating experience we have had for quite some time.  That’s a bold statement considering we eat out a LOT (probably more than we’d like to admit).  The part I still find mindblowing is that we were in Cambodia when we found this place.  Not to diss Cambodia, but seriously not the place we expected to find one of our favourite restaurants.  Actually, it’s rather unfortunate given the likelihood of us ever going back to Siem Reap.  Ah well, c’est la vie.

Anyway, enough babbling, rambling and reminiscing.  Let’s get down to bloggy business.  We had found The Touich on Tripadvisor and decided to check it out based on a lot of good reviews.  We had read on there that the restaurant would send a driver out to pick you up for dinner as the restaurant may be hard to find if taking a touk touk.  It mentioned something about a jeep too, so naturally we were intrigued.  So, we give them a call and sure enough they said they’d swing by our hostel in fifteen or so minutes and grab us.  No problem, we just grabbed an Ankor beer and kicked back while waiting.  Sure enough, fifteen minutes later Sobey rolls on up in his Jeep.  A French 1950′s original from the war to be exact.  How cool is that?  Needless to say the ride to and from the restaurant was one of the most unique pickup services we have ever been given.

 

• THE JEEP •

A few bumps, puddles, and giggles later we rolled on down the alley and up to the little paradise that is The Touich.  The setting for this place is both intimate and beautiful.  With no more than 15 tables, one can’t help but feel really lucky to have found such a place.  Lush overhanging greenery, moody lighting, and well maintained grounds were enough to wow us, but we were further impressed by the friendliness and hospitality of the staff as we arrived.  We were quickly seated and looked after with great detail from start to finish.  I really can’t say enough about the hospitality we were given here, so I’ll just leave it with saying we couldn’t have asked for anything beyond what was given.

 

• KHMER STYLE MOJITO


• COMPLIMENTARY SWEET & SALTY NUTS 

    

We were happy to finally check out the much anticipated menu here and had a serious problem.  We couldn’t decide!  There were a lot of interesting, unique options here, and being the iron gullets we just want to try everything.  However we had to choose, and eventually decided upon the following:  Sour Soup to start, Red Snapper for one main, and the much anticipated steak for our second main.

 

Sour Soup

This was soooo tasty! We have already attempted to make the same dish at home as we were both having cravings the second the plane landed back in Singapore. All sorts of deliciousness was crammed into this giant bowl of liquid gold. Based on the cooking class we did at Le Tigre de Papier we deduced the basic ingredients, though our version paled in comparison. Tender chicken chunks, lemongrass sprigs, basil leaves, various leafy vegetables, and knobs of garlic all populated the tangy sour soup that was most likely seasoned by a Khmer spice paste. We demolished the whole bowl, and would have gone for two had we not ordered two full mains!

• ONE GENEROUS SERVING OF SOUR SOUP •


• SOUR SOUP CLOSE UP •

      

Salt Encrusted Red Snapper

So when this plate landed before me I was a bit concerned.  It looked really cool, but apparently someone in the kitchen spilled the salt all over my fish.  Yeah, I don’t get out much.  I had never had anything cooked in such a manner and was really stoked to try it out.  I didn’t realize this before ordering, but the belly of the fish had been stuffed with a load of herbs predominately tasting of lemongrass… yum!  Luckily, despite my ignorance and to my surprise this fish tasted simply amazing!  It was cooked beautifully, with the flesh being nice and firm yet tender and juicy.  The flavour of the herbs had slightly seeped their way into the fish, and the added salt made for a mouth watering fish-feast.  Look, I’m from Cowberta, Canada.  I like beef.  I eat cows for breakfast.  I was nice and let my partner order the steak.  I thought I was being sacrificial, a nice guy, earning some points.  Turns out we both won.  I’m actually surprised we have a memory of the dinner at all since we were both pretty much in a food-induced catatonic bliss for the most part of the meal.  Which brings me to the other half of the meal….

• RED SNAPPER 

    

Best Steak on Planet Earth – $6

I’d like to think I can cook a pretty mean steak. I’ve spent many years perfecting my techniques; marinating, flipping, stabbing, rubbing, flaming, loving. I thought I had found the most perfect steak in the world when I was introduced to adding a bit of fish sauce, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to a properly cooked (rare to med-rare) thick porterhouse courtesy of Jaime Oliver’s Melbourne restaurant. I mean, the Jaime steak will always hold a special place in my heart, but I really do think it has been outdone by this tiny little miracle in Siem Reap. I know it’s not nice to compare, but I simply can’t accurately describe to you how good this meat was any other way. It had to be nearly two inches thick, cooked absolutely perfectly, juicy, and seasoned just enough to bring out the natural delicousness of cow. If you like steak, you should seriously consider booking a flight to Siem Reap just to try this one. No joke. Some days when I’m having serious cow withdrawal here in Singapore I would gladly pay the ticket price just to have dinner. I dream of this steak, and I think it’s making my partner jealous. End of steak rant.

• TASTIEST STEAK ON PLANET EARTH •

    

• MAYBE ONE MORE PIC OF JUST HOW JUICY IT IS – MEDIUM RARE OF COURSE •

      

• ANOTHER STYLE OF SOUR SOUP, THE SECOND NIGHT WE WENT •


• PORK RIB FROM THE SECOND NIGHT •


If you didn’t gather from the above testimony, The Touich is an absolute must-do for when you visit Siem Reap.  To say the prices are reasonable would be the understatement of the year, as would saying that you get friendly, personable service in a beautiful intimate setting.  Plus, as if all that weren’t enough, the owner (Sobey) is so generous that he will take the time to drive his super cool Jeep to come pick you up, and then drop you back when you want to leave… which you won’t.

 

Details:
The Touich Restaurant Bar
Siem Reap, Cambodia.

www.the-touich-restaurant-bar.blogspot.com/

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