After a really productive meeting with a bright, engaged youth group, it was time for lunch. Fortunately, the organization's office was far away from all the tourist areas, which meant that I would be like to find an inexpensive, yet good lunch!
I decided to continue with the soup theme that I began last night (http://inthekitchenwitheva-eva.blogspot.com/2011/06/seafood-tomyum-soup-in-phnom-penh.html) with the Thai seafood tom yum that I had dinner. But today, I wanted Khmer soup.
Right next door to the organization's office was Tt's Restaurant, which has a separate coffee shop
that serves great iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk ($1.00).
I had stopped there for one before my meetings at the youth organization.
(The waitresses apparently had never seen a person with hair like mine, as four of them came out and looked at my hair, obviously chatting amongst themselves about it in Khmer. I was not offended at all. They simply didn't have the common experience of seeing a black person with thick, wavy hair. So I undid one of my twists and invited them to touch my hair. They all smiled and gave my hair a thumbs-up. They were happy, I didn't mind and I went along my merry way.)
After my session with the youth group I returned to Tt's for lunch.
The menu was divided between soups and basil fried rice dishes, both of which were served with a choice of chicken, pork, beef, or seafood.
The waitress bought a welcome glass of iced water as I sat down. After reviewing the simple menu I decided on rice soup with prawns.
It was very basic yet satisfying. The broth was clear and the scent from the fresh, chopped basil floating in it was strong. Soft rice filled the broth along with several small prawns that were cooked just right. It was a light meal but one that I enjoyed. Mild flavors can be as interesting and complex in their own way as bold ones.
For $1.50, how could I go wrong?