A Graceful Way to Start the Day

How Civilised: iced caffè latte with a chocolate brownie (note the tiny “tree fork”).

Followed by an almond croissant. The temptation was overpowering.

Soft French jazz music in the background.

A graceful way to start the day …

(Lagrace Cafe, Street 178 Riverside Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

SE Asian Street Juice Vendors Feeling the Squeeze

It’s surprisingly difficult to find street vendors selling fresh fruit/vegetable juices, in Phnom Penh Riverside, Cambodia.

Five years ago, they were seemingly on every street.

Perhaps they can longer compete with convenience stores on price and variety? These little cans – this “winter melon” is delicious – cost USD60c.

Cafes/bars/restaurants (having costly rent and expenses) sell freshly squeezed orange, watermelon (a personal fav!) and coconut juice for USD3.50-USD4.

Lok Lak Lunch

Lok lak lunch. An essential joy of visiting Cambodia.

The side dish of Kampot pepper, garlic, chilli and salt – I like to lift that egg and blend the pepper mix through the steamed rice.

Heaven on a plate. At Bgari Restaurant, Sisowath Riverside Street No.1, Phnom Penh.

Lunch: The Phnom Penh Street Buffet

Lunch is a selection from a Phnom Penh “Street Buffet”.

I’m opting for the “lemon grass chicken” take-away.

Bits of chicken off-cuts (plus bone), the lemon grass as edible tiny ringlets, and some “demonic” red chilli.

With steamed rice.

Verdict: full of flavour.

(Back in my guest house and within a minute of “tucking in”, Miss Brindle, the neighborhood cat, appears on my balcony to “serenade” me. She is rewarded with the bone bits but – no surprise – she leaves the leftover chilli untouched.😊)

Lemon grass chicken is one option at a typical but popular street vendor in the Doun Penh Riverside district of Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Our Hunger for Plastic

South-East Asia & Plastic: this is from one very simple lunch.

Pork, vege and rice USD2.50, from a popular street vendor in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

(Tasted good, too!)

This visit I have seriously reduced my plastic consumption:

● I’ve washed & reused a plastic bowl/spoon/fork/knife;

● go out always with a used plastic bag in my pocket for incidental purchases (those little cold cans of beer);

● given my empty plastic water bottles to housekeeping to recycle.

But still …

Alas, The Piquant Mini Sausage Piques My Interest No More

The piquant, mini sausages of South-East Asia.

At every breakfast buffet, cafe, street cart vendor.

A staple of any Asian traveller’s diet; the acme of manufactured meat.

I used to enjoy a small – very small – portion of these zestful mystery bags.

That is, until my recent flight from Vietnam to Cambodia, when a fellow passenger seated to my immediate rear, and obviously a “mini sausage” gastronomist, had an excess of wind.

The flight suffered severe flatulence, not turbulence.

It was 90 minutes of non-stop, emanating mini sausage, sickly sweet piquancy.

For the first time, I had wished that face masks were still mandatory on flights.

Sadly, I now find these sapid snags to be beyond the boundaries of my otherwise wide and adventurous palate.

So, I shall conceal in a serviette these two items left over on my breakfast plate (you’ll notice everything else has been scoffed with satisfying alacrity), and spirit them away to my guest house room where, hopefully, they will be welcomed by my balcony’s nightly visitor, a neighboring cat I’ve nicknamed Miss Brindle …

Eating In makes a nice change

South-East Asian food is cheap & plentiful.

Sometimes, though, it’s nice to whip up your own, back in your room – especially when on an extended holiday or journey.

An instant noodles bowl can be washed and often reused (reduce #plastic), buy plain egg/rice noodles (minus the salt sachets) and try the variety of sauces, flavourings, vegies, fish, egg etc.

Most hotel/guesthouse rooms have a hot water kettle.

Ăn ngon miệng nhé!

The McGuide to Fast Food Prices

The Travel Maccas Guide: eat it or not, Maccas gives a good global price comparison.

In Nha Trang, Vietnam, this large meal is VND120,000 (USD5.10/AUD7.30)

  • In Vietnam, unlike in Australia, the concept of “large fries” is apparently not interchangeable with “small fries”; it’s plenty.
  • Orange juice option at no extra cost
  • Self-serve sauces at no extra cost