A casual writer who is keen to share knowledge of living and working in South East Asia and loves exploring and writing about the gems that exist in the communities, arts and culture of Adelaide and towns and cities further afield.
Published April 9th 2014
the best raw and organic eating and shopping in Phnom Penh
Travelling through Asia is an experience of sights, sounds, smells and taste. Cambodian (or Khmer) food is known for its light feel (not so spicy compared to its Thai neighbours), full of vegetables with beef, chicken, port and fish options always available.
fresh organic produce straight from the farm gate
Eating out in Asia used to bring worries of unknown additives, MSG and heavy pesticides used by all farmers and producers, big or small. Whilst a lot of the vegetables found in the local markets in Phnom Penh and other larger centres in Cambodia are imported from Thailand and Viet Nam, and even further afield, the US and Australia for instance, increasingly Cambodia is growing its own on a larger scale producing certified organic and chemical free products to supply a growing local middle class and expatriate market.
fresh nectarines, organic straight from the farm gate
For those travelling to Phnom Penh and looking to buy organic food for the kitchen or to eat in or out raw here are a few suggestions to make your stay in Phnom Penh a healthy and refreshing one.
For those following a raw diet you will be thrilled when you walk into ARTillery Cafe on Street 240 1/2[/B] (a small lane off street 240). The menu has lots of choices, they provide take away and home delivery and you can talk to them about the 5 day raw cleanse. The cleanse involves daily delivery of all the raw goodies you need to your door.
ARTillery has a second cafe on Street 278, No. 13B. There are always new specials to try and the menu is delectable. My favourite is the chocolate raw cheesecake with flax seed base. The lime tarts are also sensational not to mention the breakfast menu that literally has you sprinting out the door and the salads that are prepared with great attention to detail. All manner of healthy juices are prepared on the spot.
ARTillery often hosts a local organic fair so keep an eye on the local papers and their facebook page for the dates. To ask about the Raw 5 Day Cleanse call 078985530 or 012904365 or check out their website here.
For your supplies of organic fresh vegetables and for home delivery of organic fruit and vegetable baskets you are spoilt for choice. All have a great range of fruits and vegetables. The best idea is to visit the shops regularly on different days of the week to work out the best days for freshest supplies, although most receive daily deliveries straight from the organic farms that supply them.
Here are the main organic veggie shops I visited regularly, all easily accessed by local transportation. All of these shops supply rice and often other goodies like tofu, some organically raised meats, frozen fish, wine in some cases, daily delivered bread and cakes, locally made yoghurt, kampot pepper, imported cheeses and olives.
Natural Garden, No 23, Street 63. My favourite. They retail organic rice and chemical free fruit and vegetables. They have three shops and one salad bar around town and their product is certified by the Organic Agriculture Association. You can read about the history of the business and more at their website.
Green Organic Farm have a shop at No 216CD, Street 63.
CEDAC Shops are scattered all around town and feature in the local yellow pages. The most central is No 13, Street 360.
Khmer Farmer Garden (KFG) is an NGO focused on organic and sustainable agriculture in Cambodia. They supply fresh from pesticide free locally produced small scale farmers. They are located at No 88-90A, Street 360 or you can read more at their website.
Advice to the shopper
Firstly, take your own bags to help rid Cambodia of the scourge of plastic bags.
Ask them if they do home basket delivery if that interests you.
Visit the shop you decide is your favourite regularly so as to pick up the freshest delivery.
Be kind to the staff who help and serve you as they are likely trainees under supervision or simply trying hard to provide good service with little English.
Be adventurous and try fruit and vegetables you might otherwise not eat at home to enhance your culinary experience. The serving staff will likely be able to tell you how best to cook or consume it.
Keep far away from the many fast food outlets that are popping up at a great rate right across Cambodia and enjoy what the gardens and farms of the country have to offer. Support small scale local farmers and the organic agricultural industry whilst eating well and remaining super healthy.
Explore raw and organic in Phnom Penh, you won't regret it.
La Vie Claire in Phnom Penh is a new organic shop where you can have a wide choice of cereals, cereals for breakfast, vegetable milk, pure juice, tea, coffee, oil, vinegar, pasta, chocolate, gluten free product, babyfood, organic cosmetic, eco-products... Please come to visit us to find many more....