Foods for restricted diets: where to buy
- Vegetable margarine – found at Bayon and Lucky supermarkets
- Dairy-free sorbets (lots of industrial “sorbets” actually have added cream to improve texture) – Vergers d’Angkor, either at Le Jardin or at Bayon
- Rice milk and soy milk – most supermarkets, but impossible to work out which ones have added cow’s milk (for the calcium) unless you read Thai
- Almond milk – Naturae on St 240
- Dark chocolate – Bayon – although I am sure it is also found elsewhere, they have a good range, including the bite-sized, individually wrapped ones
- Fruit purée – nice for children as a dessert or snack – Thai Huot
- Dairy-free biscuits – The Pantry
- Baked goods – try Madeleine’s, #172 Street 51, near ISPP elementary school. Tel: 012.988.432
- Goats and ewe’s milk cheese – about half a dozen different cheeses at Lucky on Sihanouk Blvd, smaller selection at Thai Huot
- For those who are lactose intolerant, Madeleines Cafe-Restaurant-Bakery has lactose free products on order at 012.988.432
A word of caution if anyone is on a very strict diet or at risk of anaphylactic shock: many hams, sausages and other cured meats have added cow’s milk protein for a smoother texture. There’s a new butcher – Le Terroir – #69, street 240, where the meats are processed and cured on site – the manager should be able to answer questions about added ingredients.
List of Vegetarian/Vegan/Vege-friendly Restaurants
Cambodians often have great difficulty understanding that Westerners could possibly be vegetarian (try explaining that you eat “Monk food”). Food allergies and other restricted diets can also be a bridge too far. They may have no idea if there are peanuts in something, for instance, and may well lie about it if they think that honesty could result in a lost sale.
○ Mi Chay #88 Street 173. Simple Khmer place a stone’s throw from the Olympic Market, this restaurant is popular, especially at lunchtime, with young professions. These is a simple choice of either noodle soup or fried noodles, both for less than a dollar so great value.
○ Mao Xian Xi Healthy Vegetarian Restaurant #699A Monivong Boulevard (between St 360 and Mao Tse Tong). As the name suggests, this is a vegan-friendly Chinese restaurant that specialised in faux-meat dishes. Try the noodle soups. Great value for money. Watch out for eggs and dairy if you don’t eat them. Mobile: (855) 98 955 689 or (855) 11 955 689.
○ Vego #3E0 Street 51 (Pasteur) between Sihanouk and St 278, opposite Wat Lanka. Essentially a salad bar/restaurant/take away, Vego specialises in a range of salads and energy drinks/smoothies. Pricey but a healthy alternative to most of the surrounding restaurants. Vege-friendly.
○ The Vegetarian #11 Street 200. Vegan-friendly, with fast food take-out. New addition to the restaurant scene, this, apparently, Malaysian-owned vege restaurant is great value for money, especially at lunchtime when they have a lunch special for less than a dollar. Tel: 012-905-766
○ K’NAY #25K Suramarit Boulevard, east of the Independence Monument and down the end of a lane between St 19 and Sothearos Blvd. Over 80% of the menu is vegan but your friends can eat flesh if they must. Housed in a beautifully-restored French colonial row house, whilst the restaurant is a stylish eatery with a touch of funk, there is a beautiful paved courtyard lined with ginger (K’NYAY) plants. Somewhere to go when you want a bit of class. Closed Sundays. Tel: 023-225225
○ Surn Yi Me Shi Guan #13AB Street 184. Half a block east of Norodom Boulevard, near Royal Palace. Serves veggieburgers, Chinese-style noodles; Vegetarian but uses eggs in some items. Tel: 016-664666
○ Evergreen #109 Street 130. Located behind Norton University and across the road from the infamous Sharky’s. This vegetarian restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. A set meal includes rice, noodle, hot pot soup, and drink. Tel: 012-222003
“Iherb.com” stocks thousands of brands in herbal products as well as beauty products, everything from pro-biotics to organic toothpaste (for kids too) and organic vitamins, face creams etc. Really wide range of stuff. They use DHL and things arrive to your front door within days, plus delivery prices are very reasonable, considering (usually around $15-20)
Natural Garden green grocery shop has a good range of leafy-green vegetables, as well as tomatoes, aubergines, carrots, bell peppers and fresh herbs (including parsley). Many are locally produced and chemical-free. Ask the staff. They are one back from the corner of St 288 at #213B, Trasak Paem (St. 63). Tel: 023 6666 929 email@example.com
Pepper East (part of the rapidly expanding Vego-empire): provides deliveries of “healthy, chemical-free fruits and vegetables” on a weekly-basis. Also does catering.