Full Day Culinary Experience at Romdeng Restaurant
Full Day Culinary Experience
at Romdeng Restaurant
Chop, cook, explore and indulge into the finer culinary arts of Khmer cuisine
WHY THIS TOUR?
Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city at the confluence of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers, offers a fascinating cocktail of flavours with contrast background of colonial architecture and vibrant Cambodian markets, where a multitude of restaurants offer cuisine from all over Asia and the world. In this mix of culinary essences, come and discover the authentic Khmer cuisine with its flavourful and delectable dishes. A deep culinary immersion through the visit of the most known market of Phnom Penh, Phsar Thmey, followed by a new cooking experience in one of the renowned restaurant of the city, Romdeng. The restaurant is also a training ground for former street children and marginalized young people to learn the culinary art of Khmer cuisine.
You will join the cooking team in the kitchen for a full session in making 3 chosen dishes and 1 cocktail by you own, upgrading your cooking techniques and adding new authentic dishes to your culinary repertoire. You will enjoy a lunch at the Central market and finish with dinner at Romdeng restaurant, tasting your own creations in the enchanting setting of Romdeng colonial building surrounded by a lush garden and swimming pool.
The culinary experience starts a little before noon. You will be picked-up around 11.30 at your Phnom Penh hotel by your local chef in his tuk tuk. He will be your guide for the whole day from the visit of the Central Market, Phsar Thmey, to your initiation to the Khmer cuisine in the kitchen of Romdeng restaurant.
Your journey begins in the heart of Phsar Thmey, literally the ‘New Market’ but more commonly called ‘Central Market’ in English. This unique, art-deco style building was completed in 1937 by the French and is one of the largest and busiest markets in Phnom Penh. You will be immediately immerged in the local and picturesque atmosphere as you start your walk at the west wind of the market, where are located the food and spices stalls. Before going further in your exploration, who will take place in a well-maintained local food stall in the heart of the market where you will enjoy a typical local lunch, with your choice of noodles, meat, veggies and soup.
Nothing better than a happy stomach before your immersion into the alleys of the market to discover all the varieties of seasonal fruits and vegetables, spices, meat and seafood stalls, as well as the numerous barbecue stands offering delicious brochettes of all kinds and tasty desserts and sweets. The chef will share with you his knowledge about all these products and what regions of Cambodia they come from, knowing all is organic food. You will shop for some spices and vegetables that will be bought back to the kitchen later to be used for you cooking initiation.
You will have some free time to walk through the other wings of the Central Market where you will encounter flower merchants but also many souvenir shops with everything from t-shirts to postcards to local art crafts and Kramas, as well as jewels and electronic goods.
After this full market immersion, you will hop on your tuk tuk with the chef and will ride back to the Romdeng restaurant. This afternoon, after an introduction from the chef to the Romdeng restaurant history and their action in favour of street children and marginalized young, you will receive all the material necessary to start your chef class and be ready for action: apron, cooking hat, hand towel. You will be presented to the cooking team and will then reach you cooking zone where you will be initiated to all the ingredients and products you will be using in the preparation of your 3 Khmer dishes. Not only will you cut, shred, cook and display on the plate, but you will also make by yourself the past and sauces that will go with you various dishes, which means you will also be pounding herbs and spices with a traditional stone pounder.
Going through each step of preparation and cooking is the most first-hand experience you may wish for, with your professional chef following each of your steps, giving you advises and leading you in the process, but always leaving you the hand to the dough unless you request his assistance. During these hours of pure culinary empowering, you will also learn more on the history of Khmer dishes, its influences from the neighbouring countries and foreign encounters.
At the end of the session, once you have finalized le last touch to your 3 dishes and made you own chosen natural cocktail, it will almost be dinner time. Have a little rest in the garden and enjoy the evening atmosphere as the sun goes down on the city.
Soon, the moment of truth comes when you will be installed at one of the restaurant’s table with all your dishes displayed just waiting to be tasted. Enjoy your dinner like any other guest around, but simply knowing you have just experienced something much more powerful than just coming for dinner at one of the most recommended restaurant in town. You are on stage tonight, but you have also been the master of this dinner on the backstage in the kitchen; a true unique moment that makes you a special guest tonight and that you will not forget.
And when you are finish enjoying this prolific meal of yours, your apron, cooking hat, recipes and your certificate of recognition are for you to take home as you will be transferred back to your hotel. But you will be packing much more than just your cooking materiel; it’s some delicious recipes and new cooking techniques that you have learned to master that will follow you along the way. And back home, you can be sure you will be able to prepare these recipes like a real master chef this time.