Before coming to Southeast Asia, we knew there would be plenty of opportunities to eat some unfamiliar delicacies. And since we may not be in this part the world again soon, we knew we had to partake while we could! Enter Romdeng, a restaurant serving traditional Cambodian food, including plenty of options not usually found on a Canadian menu.
The menu boasted an array of creepy crawlies and we figured it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. Some of you may disagree but when in Rome…
We were also impressed that Romdeng is part of an NGO that helps marginalized youth gain employable skills through workshops and work opportunities in this restaurant and others across Southeast Asia. We can definitely do some slightly unsavoury activities if it’s for a good cause.
We went expecting to sample the deep friend tarantulas, but when we saw they offered more local favourites like crickets, froglets, and buffalo jerky, it took only a moment before deciding ‘we’ve come this far.’ And to top it off, there was a lovely beef stir-fry including ants that brought the whole meal together.
So, in the dimly lit atmosphere of the restaurant and our three dishes plus a full bottle of wine purchased (some situations require a little liquid courage), we awaited our fate.
In the end, the Cambodian food wasn’t so bad. Along with a lime spritzing and some special dipping sauce, we chowed down and found ourselves really liking the crickets, froglets, and jerky. (It helped that they were fried). The spiders weren’t the best, both texture and flavour-wise, but we’re glad to have at least given them a try. And now the creepy-crawlies are a little less creepy!
Would you try spiders? What’s the craziest thing you’ve eaten while travelling? Any recommendations for food in Cambodia? Leave it in the comments below!
Check out our most recent post from Southeast Asia about what we learned from the Cambodian Genocide.