Food

Cloud 9: Cambodia

cloud-9-phnom-penh-rooftop-bar

Photograph: Lucas Veuve

Offering 360-degree views of the city, sumptuous cocktails and a menu to match, Cloud 9 has got evenings – and daytimes – covered. 

Hotel restaurants can often feel somewhat sterile, but Sun & Moon’s rooftop bar and restaurant, Cloud9, feels both cheery and embracing.

Although a sleek and modern looking hotel, with bold colours and strong concrete designs, the little details, such as glowing white orbs as lamps and Wednesday’s 50 percent off for anyone wearing five-inch heels – that goes for men too – reveals the establishment’s care-free vibes.

Starting with the bar’s signature fruity cocktail, Sunset Pisco ($6) is the perfect way to take in the astounding view the building has of the city.

Located north of the Royal Palace, and overlooking riverside, evenings at Sun & Moon mean watching the heavy golden light settle over the water of the Tonle Sap, turning it to the colour of their aptly named cocktail.   

Catering to high-end business types and leisure-seeking locals, the menu is cosmopolitan yet playful. Dishes are arranged with presentation in mind, the protein and vegetables cut into squares or conical shapes and laid over swirls of brightly coloured sauce.

Head chef, Vanno Tin, says the concept behind the menu is Western bistro with an underlying Cambodian flavour.

“It’s a mixture of both Asian and Western tastes,” says Vanno. “We want visitors to discover Cambodian flavours, but to enjoy high-end French, Italian and British cooking.”

True to his word, the dishes are presented as high-end Western cuisine, but use distinctly local ingredients.

The 180g Australian prime beef tenderloin ($27) is served with a baked cheese mussel atop, a slivered potato gratin tower and an array of carrots and courgettes, placed abstractly around the plate. Served rare, the meat is dense and succulent and surrounded by a swirl of Cambodia’s iconic peppers in gravy.

The green mango salad with Australian scallops ($9.50) is a play on the traditional mango salad eaten across Southeast Asia. The dish is elevated to mango three-ways with fried scallops and a dusting of peanuts. Delicate and buttery the scallops pulled apart easily and dipped in the fresh mango puree or eaten with a sliver of sour green mango, or mango julienne, made for a sweet and zesty sensation.

Another take on an Asian favourite is the deconstructed red curry with duck ($15.50). The confit duck leg, a French speciality, sat amongst charcoal roasted peppers and Thai green eggplants. The sauce is light and spicy with a dash of cinnamon, a spice regular to Cambodian cuisine.   

“We are where international meets local,” says the hotel’s communication executive, Many Pen. “Asian taste and Western taste is different, we want them both to have something to discover.”

For a unique, modern taste of Cambodian flavours lightly infusing French, Italian and British cuisine, head to Sun & Moon, which also serves food from its ground floor restaurant, Salt ‘N’ Pepper.

Published @ AsiaLIFE Magazine

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