The Hive Cafe, Siem Reap

In spite of the fact that my main criteria when choosing somewhere to live in Siem Reap was that I wanted to have a fully functional kitchen, 3 weeks after moving in my fridge holds little more than wine, beer, fresh ground coffee and mixers and I have eaten out every night!  I don’t even have any eggs in the house and so when I decided I fancied a late breakfast this morning I took to Foursquare for a solution, thus happily discovering the joys of The Hive Café, just one block from my house.

Opened in the summer of 2013 by two Aussie expats as a sort of side job from their full time positions as English teachers at a local university and at the Shinta Mani Foundation – a local NGO that focusses on “the three core areas of education, small business start-ups and health care” – whilst the Hive is not a training school or NGO like Haven or Marum, they still play their part by employing some of the foundations students to work with them in the café.

The Hive was designed to be the kind of place that people would feel happy “hanging out” in whether for breakfast or lunch (they open daily from 7am-6pm) or simply for one of their many refreshing juices & smoothies, top notch coffee or decently priced wine or beer; I had barely glanced at the menu for a few seconds before it became apparent that this was going to be the first visit of many.

You can enjoy everything from Cinnamon Spiced Pancakes to Kotthu Roti – a Sri Lankan favourite I wrote about here – via Breakfast Burritos, a range of salads such as Chicken and Zucchini or Summer Cous Cous and a selection of Sandwiches and Pizzas including their signature Pumpkin, Feta, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach and Cashew Nut Pizza with most dishes coming in at under $5.

The delicious selection of fresh juices left me spoiled for choice with interesting combinations like Fresh Watermelon and Lime, Pineapple and Coconut or more savoury sounding drinks with Tomato, Carrot, Cucumber, Ginger and Lime. In the end settled for a mix of Watermelon, Lime and Cucumber as it sounded the most refreshing and was happy to receive a generous glass for just $2.50 (You can get a 25 Cent discount if you buy one of their reusable juice containers)

I was planning on just ordering some rye toast with vegemite but then I saw their “Rough Morning Breakfast” of Potatoes Fried in Tabasco with Bacon and Cherry Tomatoes with Two Fried Eggs and reasoned that as it was already gone 10am, I could kill two birds with one stone by having a more substantial brunch instead of just toast, meaning that I could work through the afternoon without needing to stop for lunch.

Good move! The potatoes had a pleasing “zing” to them from the liberal use of Tabasco in their preparation; the little curls of bacon had been fried to perfection & then you had a handful of scorched cherry tomatoes that popped in your mouth, all under the warm, yolky blanket of the fried eggs. I wasn’t hung-over but I can see this really going a long way to setting things right if you were!

The Hive was a great discovery and I am thrilled to have such a decent little local, whilst the coffee machine was sadly (and briefly) out of operation when I went, I will definitely be back to see if the coffee is as good as they say it is. A point of interest to readers may be that they offer soy milk, something you do not see too much of here in Siem Reap, as well as having a pretty even split of options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Some further meals/drinks pictures for you here

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