Food should never pose an issue for travelers to Siam Reap since there are so many international restaurants along the town’s main street. For those who are not that adventurous to venture into the more exotic street food, the vast options of ‘proper restaurants’ must surely be a relief. But if you are willing to stray a little further, Haven Training Restaurant is definitely worth checking out.
Just like the name says, Haven is a training restaurant in which the staff and chefs are recruited from the less privileged youngsters – such as orphans. Haven equips them with useful life skills to prepare them for a better life in the future, as well as helping them to secure a permanent job after their training ends.
All of these benefits are provided free to the trainees and you could lend your support just by dining here. Anyway the food’s great anyway and you are eating for a good cause too. So why not?
The menu (priced in USD) has a mix of Cambodian classics, Western and Fusion specials that also includes many vegetarian options. Don’t be surprised to find a few Swiss dishes too because a Swiss association actually backs the restaurant.
My HAVEN Cheese Burger @ $7.50 was awesome – simple, unpretentious yet so good and I still crave for it every now and then.
Blessed with many rivers and having largest lake South East Asia (Tonle Sap), freshwater fish is aplenty in Cambodia hence it plays an important part in the locals’ diet. Amok is a national dish and could be commonly found at any decent restaurant in the country.
It is basically a thick soup with rich coconut cream and usually cooked with fish, other possible ingredients include chicken and beef too. The taste should be no stranger to us because it resembles closely to another popular Thai dish ‘Hor Mok’, which we refer as the Thai otak-otak.
Khmer Lok Lak @ $6.50 is another popular Cambodian dish. A fried egg sunny side up is draped on stir-fried marinated beef slices served along with tomatoes, cucumbers and to be enjoyed with a lime juice sauce. Both Amok and Lok Lak are best eaten with steamed rice for their strong seasoning and deep flavors.
Pumpkin Soup @ $5.50.
Iced Coffee on a hot afternoon to wash down everything.
We were considered lucky to be able to dine at Haven because we simply walked in without reservation. If you check out Haven on TripAdvisor you would know that it is quite difficult for walk-in guests to secure a table. In fact we were nearly turned away but the management was kind enough to let us enjoy our meal quickly before the other guests arrive. So do make an effort to observe their business hour as above and more importantly, make a reservation at least one or two days in advance to avoid disappointment.Haven Training Restaurant (Website)
Sok San Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Tel: +855 78 342 404