Cuisine Wat Damnak Siem Reap Cambodia

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Eat with ChaMike at Cuisine Wat Damnak.

Our first dinner in Siem Reap should be memorable. As I had mentioned in my previous posts this trip was my birthday trip and because I turned another year older Mike decided to treat me somewhere special. And there is no dinner more special than a dinner in Cuisine Wat Damnak.

Cuisine Wat Damnak if not the best, is one of the best restaurants in Cambodia headed by Frenchman Chef Joannes Riviere. This restaurant is included in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants according to It is the only Cambodian restaurant included in the list so this place is quite remarkable that reservation is needed weeks before for you to be accommodated. 

I reserved a table three weeks in advance to be able to secure sure slots. Chef Joannes' other half Carole Salmon was the one who arranged our reservation. She was very much hands on and prompt in replying, she was also very polite. I reserved at 6:30 pm (which I regret because it was too early for a dinner) we came from a temple trip in Phnom Bakheng to catch the sunset but because the reservation was too early we didn't get to witness it. I tried to email but wasn't able to read the reply since I didn't have an internet access. I should have called the restaurant instead! Because apparently they were okay if we get there at 7:30 pm. Oh well. my bad.

Cuisine Wat Damnak
The restaurant has three parts, the first floor is the modern dining area this is stylish and air conditioned while the second floor is a fan-cooled wooden house that is more traditional and then the outside garden, a softly lit garden perfect for evening dining. From the three we chose the first floor.

Facade of Cuisien Wat Damnak
First floor
Stylish and air-conditioned floor
Because we were early, the place was not yet packed. We were welcomed by Chef Joannes himself. wow. He also escorted us to our seats which was located somewhere in the middle perfect for picture taking.

Raccoon eyes
My handsome date
Cuisine Wat Damnak is a fine dining restaurant that serves authentic Cambodian dishes using French style of cooking. They serve 5-6 courses of meals that changes every two weeks for variety.

Food selection from August 30 - September 10
5 course for $24 (P1160) 
6 course for $28 (P1350)

They offer two menus, I ordered the tasting menu 2 while Mike ordered tasting menu 1 so we could taste both offerings. 

Wet towels to clean our hands
We also ordered white wine by the glass for two to compliment are fine dining dinner.
per glass $4 (P195)
per bottle $22 (P1,1060)
Chardonay by the glass
The staff was very attentive and polite and the ambience was warm that we felt at home.
Mike's Six Course Dinner | Tasting Menu 1

First Course | Amuse Bouche
Chicken Liver Pate 

Second Course | Salad
Coconut Tree Heart Salad with Pan Fried Snakehead Fish Spicy Pounded Toasted Coconut

Third Course | Appetizer
Moom and Minced Pork Roll with Egg and Basil, Pineapple Dressing

Fourth Course | Soup
Barbecued Duck Sour Soup with Lime, Shiny Cresson and Elephant 

Fifth Course | Main Entree
Cabbage Cake with Prawns, Steamed Cabbage Leaf and Home Made Oyster Sauce

Sixth Course | Dessert
Chilled Battambang Grape and Purple Dragon Fruit Soup, Beaujolais Wine, Vanilla Ice Cream and Cashew Nut Tulle

Cham's Six Course Dinner | Tasting Menu 1

First Course | Amuse Bouche
Pomelo and Waterlily Stem

Second Course | Salad
Crispy Confit Duck Tongue Salad, Cucumber, Peanuts and Spicy Chili Dressing

Third Course | Appetizer
Seared Koh Kong Scallops, Glazed Turnip, Tofu Cream, Chinese Celery & Sesame

Fourth Course | Soup
Coconut and Bamboo Shoots White Curry, Chllang Fish Fillet, Creamed Amaranth and Lemon Basil

Fifth Course | Main Entree
Quail and Cambodian Green Giant Eggplant in Game Style, Wild Mangosteen Sour Leaves and Mushroom

Every single dish that was served to us was cooked to perfection. The intricacy and details of all the meals were creatively planned as if it was an art piece. The assortment of flavors were prepared skillfully which left us in awe. The tenderness of the duck tongue, the juiciness of the scallops, the delicious creamy soup and the quail, oh the quail dish! Everything that I ate was over-the-top good!

I so like this view <3
about to devour my main entree
But that's not all. Surprise! Surprise! After eating my fifth course, the waitstaff came in with this special plate. My special dessert plate with a 'Happy Birthday Cham!' greeting and a candle. It was so touching. Waaah!

So many birthday wishes!
6th Course | Dessert
Fresh Rice Flake Pancake with Caramelized Banana Chocolate Pot De Creme

Happy Birthday to me <3 so sweet!
Turns out Mike, like what he always does, made a secret request to Carole prior to our visit and they gladly made the special dessert plate just for me. <3

Teary eyed.
Thanks again, Babe! So thankful I have you in my life
Seventh Course
Local fruits

An additional course was this Cambodian seasonal fruits. Yum!

Cambodian fruits
Sampaloc served after our bill came
No wonder, Cuisine Wat Damnak is one of the best because they let their customers feel that they deserve the best. I am truly grateful I got to experience this dinner and most especially that I got to celebrate my birthday with Mike here, truly a dining experience unlike any other. Thanks Chef Joannes! Thanks Cuisine Wat Damnak! Thanks Mike!

ChaMike with Chef Joannes

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