a little slice of cambodia in melbourne

The Haunt: Bhopa Devi

Location of the haunting: 27 Ballarat Street, Yarraville, Melbourne

Cambodia: a country in the Southern part of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. A country’s heritage often extends itself to its cuisine; Cambodian cuisine is largely a blend of Chinese, Indian and French influences.

The flavour palette on this one was really something unique. 

Despite having grown up in Southeast Asia, I’ve never had Cambodian food. (Shame…Shame…Shame on me.) So I finally decided to have some when I happened to walk past this place in Yarraville. As Murakami once said, chance encounters are what keep us going. 

The restaurant’s decor is rather minimalist and can’t seat very many diners, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I had a good feeling about the whole thing so I thought it was worth a shot.

The first dish we had was the amok ($25.10), a traditional steamed fish curry with coconut cream, lemongrass, turmeric and lime leaves. The dish came with rice. 

The flavours were fresh, unique, and got better with every spoonful. I was in heaven. Ok, maybe not heaven, but something quite close.

The second dish we had was the char krom ($22.40), which was scallop stir fried with garlic, chopped chilli, coriander, lemon grass, five spices, tailed pepper, capsicum, onion and spring onion.

I know it sounds like a mouthful, but wait till the mouthful winds up in your mouth. It was just… quite the feast for the senses. 

This char krom had a bit more of a kick than the amok in terms of spiciness, so if you’re a little intolerant to that kind of thing… BUYER BEWARE.

I’d like to draw on the obvious comparisons between Cambodian and Thai food, but it really is a whole different ballgame. I went to Bhopa Devi last night and the flavours still linger on my taste buds. I already cant wait to go back. 

As my fellow foodie said, flavours can quickly become something to get nostalgic about.

Bopha Devi on Urbanspoon