Sokkak River French fusion restaurant http://www.sokkhakriver.com/index.php is one of Siem Reaps newer restaurants, having only opened up next to their sister restaurant Chanrey Tree a month or so ago. Named after the Sanskrit word for “Tranquility” the restaurant is an airy mixture of modern and traditional Khmer designs, with a focus on natural light and plenty of lush greenery in the surroundings gardens and atrium, which does indeed give it a tranquil, Zen like atmosphere not dissimilar from that of their Sokkhak Spa on Sok San Road.
The menu, described as “French Fusion” offers a varied selection of appetisers from the more Khmer style Spicy Beef Salad with lemongrass and mint, to the Italian Beef Carpaccio and more classically French Frog Legs or Prawn Provencal; with main courses focusing on simple grills like Australian Lamb Chops or Lamb Skewers, Steaks, Pan Fried Fish or Pasta.
On my first visit I decided to try a couple of appetisers, starting with the Mushroom Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette. I liked the little touch of having an amuse bouche – mini Bruschetta with fragrant Thai basil – before the first course was served, the tomatoes were lovely and juicy and really helped to get my taste buds going. The mushroom salad was made mostly with enoki mushrooms as well as mixed leaves, cucumber, tomato and radish with a lovely toasted sesame seed dressing that made all the difference to the otherwise rather plain salad, good but nothing to write home about.
The Prawn Provencal (whilst not my idea of a classic Provençale dish – no tomatoes?) on the other hand was truly delicious, a real stand out dish. The portion was perfect for a light main course – I would certainly struggle to eat a full dish afterwards – ½ dozen perfectly cooked prawns in an incredibly moreish white wine, shallot, ginger and fresh herb sauce. They were definitely aware just how good the sauce truly is as the dish was served not only with two toasted garlic croutes of bread for dipping but also a spoon, to ensure you managed to get every last drop of it.
On my second visit I decided to try the Penne au Pesto with its more familiar Provençale additions of zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms; with an unusual “Pesto” made from coriander, basil, mint and garlic which used cashew nuts in place of pine nuts and was finished with a smattering of parmesan cheese. Whilst the pasta wasn’t quite al dente enough, I really enjoyed the herbaceous pesto and the pleasing crunch of the cashews and the additional vegetables in the pasta which made it much more interesting than just a regular pesto pasta. I can’t remember the last time I ordered pasta in a restaurant in fact, but this was good enough to see me go back again.
With the success of The Chanrey Tree behind them, I’m sure Sokkhak river will be another big success and on the strength of how busy its been this past week it seems to be well on the way.
Lunch 11am-2.30pm, Dinner : 6pm-10.30pm
Tel: (855) 63 767 997
Address: Pokombo Ave, along Siem Reap river side, 50m before Preah PhrumRath Pagoda (Next to Chanrey Tree)