The only place in Siem Reap where guests can sample Royal Khmer cuisine
SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Dec. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Cambodia’s most storied hotel wrote yet another chapter last month when it unveiled a new fine-dining restaurant following a landmark refurbishment.
Named after the Raffles Grand Hotel d’ Angkor’s year of opening, ‘1932’ launched on November 22 at an invite-only dinner for 50 guests who were treated to a parade of traditional Khmer specialties with a contemporary twist.
Located on the ground floor of the hotel’s Heritage Wing next to the Conservatory and behind the celebrated Elephant Bar, this elegant venue is the successor to the previous Restaurant Le Grand, which had stood since the hotel’s inception. ‘1932’ inherits the honour of being one of only two establishments in the country that is permitted to serve Royal Khmer Cuisine, the other being its sister Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh. These recipes were passed on by royal decree to the hotels from the King’s own kitchen.
The Royal Khmer Menu brings together an array of textures and tantalizing treats, such as mango and prawn salad, spicy and sour lobster consommé, grilled lamb chops in ginger sauce, red chicken curry in coconut, and for dessert, pumpkin custard.
Raffles Grand Hotel d’ Angkor’s Executive Chef Angela Brown, originally from Brisbane, Australia, earned her chef stripes in a number of Sofitel kitchens around the world including London and Bangkok. Having lived in Siem Reap for nearly three years, Brown has a deep appreciation for local culinary techniques. "Khmer cuisine is a combination of refined, simple, delicate flavours," she said. "The dishes are much subtler than, say, Thai recipes. Khmer flavours pop out, but don’t knock you over." Chef Angela aims to craft traditional Khmer recipes with a modern approach. "Not fusion, but dishes that can be adapted to the Western palate," she added. One of her new signature dishes is the melt-in-your-mouth Beef Cheek, served with a local aromatic herb known as ma-om and quail egg curry. Other highlights include the Chateaubriand-style lok lak, a Wagyu beef striploin with grape puree.
A selection of intriguing condiments accompanies each meal, among them the chef’s own creation, duka, a grainy mix of cashew nut, sesame, coriander seed and salt. A local seed called chombok – similar to almond – pervades the rye bread, while la-voch is a Khmer herb and wheat chapati. Overseen by 1932’s wine expert Ms. Sum Socheata, guests can look forward to wine pairings with every dish in each of the five-course Royal Khmer meal. Raffles achieved its fame as home to the Singapore Sling, and keeping to tradition, a Cambodian version, the Grand Hotel d’Angkor Sling with a twist of galangal and ginger, is available as an aperitif.
"The refurbishment of the restaurant has brought it up to date with freshness and light, while retaining the sense of traveling back in time," said Hotel Manager Vincent Gernigon. "The new look of the restaurant perfectly complements the exciting menus being created by Chef Angela, and adds a new dimension to Khmer cuisine."
Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor reopened on October 1, 2019, following six months of restoration works. Designed in the late 1920s by architect Ernest Hébrard in French colonial style, the hotel’s interior combines Khmer art and furnishings with Art Deco influences. Renowned for its wrought-iron and timber elevator, ‘The Grand’ served as an early base for archaeologists, explorers and visitors to the rediscovered Kingdom of Angkor. Taken over in 1997 by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI) by invitation of Cambodia’s His Majesty King Sihanouk, the hotel is now part of Accor following the group’s acquisition of FRHI in July 2016.
For reservations or enquiries to Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, call +855 23 982 598 or email [email protected]. Rooms at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor start from 230USD per night.
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Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor
The Grand Hotel d’Angkor first opened its doors in 1932 to provide luxury accommodations for the first wave of explorers of the Angkor temples, UNESCO World Heritage site, then carefully restored and reopened in 1997 by Raffles Hotels and Resorts. Imbibing the Raffles spirit of adventure, the hotel is a treasure trove of stories, historical and mythical, found at the doorstep of one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world. Featuring 119 rooms, suites and villas, set in a plantation-style complex of Heritage buildings, French gardens, a sprawling swimming pool mimicking the ancient royal baths, it is a safe haven for those looking for a reprieve from temple explorations and enjoying vibrant Siem Reap. Dining options at The Grand Hotel stay true to the Raffles legacy, from the iconic Afternoon Tea at The Conservatory, to the most exclusive dinner theatre experience at the Apsara Terrace, to Le Grand’s Royal Khmer Cuisine menu made from recipes gifted to Raffles by Royal Decree from the Palace kitchens. Located in the Old French Quarter, next to the National Museum, and just 15-minutes from the airport, the hotel is a short walk away from town, with its vibrant markets and trendy nightlife.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts boasts an illustrious history and some of the most prestigious hotel addresses worldwide. In 1887, Raffles Singapore set the standard for luxury hospitality, introducing the world to private butlers, the Singapore Sling and its enduring, legendary service. Today, Raffles continues this tradition in leading cities and lavish resort locales, enchanting travellers with meaningful experiences and service that is both gracious and intuitive. Connoisseurs of life choose Raffles, not merely for its aura of culture, beauty and gentility, but for the extraordinary way they feel when in residence with Raffles. Each Raffles, be it Paris, Istanbul, Warsaw, Jakarta or the Seychelles, serves as a venerated oasis where travellers arrive as guests, leave as friends and return as family. Raffles is part of Accor, a world-leading augmented hospitality group offering unique experiences in 4,900 hotels and residences across 110 countries.