Siem Reap Food: Central Cafe
Siem Reap Central Cafe Review
(Up Date: as of Jan. 2017, the corned beef sandwich is gone from the menu. That sandwich is the reason I tried out the restaurant in the first place.) 🙁
Cafe Central Siem Reap Value Rating
Western food is a staple in Siem Reap and Cafe Central offers a fair selection of dishes including deli foods. The prices at Cafe Central are a little steep compared to Asian food. With that said, the price of a good sandwich in USA is twice the price of Cafe Central. These prices are typical of the western type food here in Siem Reap, a tourist destination.
Cafe Central Inconsistant
I‘ve dined at Cafe Central a number of times and have been both happy and unhappy with the food here. Inconsistency is the word I often use for many of the restaurants in Siem Reap. This rings true for Cafe Central after ordering the Corned Beef Sandwich. The quality was good for the corned beef sandwich I ordered both times, but the last time I ordered I found a problem with quantity. Only two small slices of corned beef and lot of lettuce for a $6.00 sandwich. I was very disappointed because the food at Cafe Central is not on the cheap side when they serve only a small amount of ingredients. Bread and lettuce don’t count. The photo below is the first time I order the corned beef, not the most recent time.
Western Food Siem Reap
This is a very nice, quaint kind of internet café in a very touristy area of Siem Reap, between the Old Market and Pub Street. A few locals come here, but not as many as some of the other coffee shops. How many places in Cambodia serve corned beef sandwiches? I’m not sure, but not many! I like the coffee, the atmosphere, and the food when they offered a fair amount of food. They also have live music in the evenings, but I’m not sure if it’s all the time or only once in a while?
Travel Food & Health Critical Reviews
I went above and beyond on this experiment of ordering corned beef. Just kidding about above and beyond, but anytime I try corned beef outside of NY City, I expect to be disappointed, but that does not mean I didn’t enjoy the meal. I have my standards of how I judge restaurants. You probably won’t hear about the flops I have tried when it comes to food because I don’t publish those. I want to be honest and give you the real scoop on a place. So now your warned, it may be good and maybe not that great, but unless I feel they are a rip off, you won’t read about the bad places I’ve been.
Did the Owner Read This?
I hope I hear from the owner and have a reason to go back for a next time. We’ll see what happens and if the owner is responsive? This article has been updated severe times and I would be happy to review and update again. So far as of Oct 18, I have not heard a word. Still waiting.
First Visit I was Surprised
Totally surprised on this one, it was a pretty good corned beef sandwich, this was back in 2015. I was expecting tough, stringy, fatty and salty corned beef, but it was none of those things (you can see I can be critical). Cafe Central made a good sandwich and they used mustard, hard to find much mustard in SE Asia. You can’t eat a good corned beef sandwich without mustard, it’s just not done! And a pickle helps too.
Almost the Right Ingredients
I can be a bit of a food snob, but I was delighted when I lit into this corned beef sandwich on my second bite. The first bite was kind of tenuous. The bread was very good too (French influence here?), everything was fresh and it had pickle, but that could have been better, it was sweet not dill, a kind of no-no for a corned beef deli sandwich. Still, I never eat pickle on a corned beef sandwich, it’s just not done normally, it’s always next to it, and there was only a small pickle. In fact this pickle was so small I hardly noticed it, in fact maybe it wasn’t really a pickle, maybe I only imagined it or I had a dream about a pickle the night before.
The lettuce seemed to make this sandwich stand out, it as a very good sandwich (I know I said that already), not your normal corned beef sandwich, but the whole combination worked!! Who would have thought that I would get my corned beef sandwich fix in Cambodia??
I also tried the Egg Salad Sandwich which was very good, but maybe too much Egg Salad? No disappointment here.
Cafe Central Pricing
Prices at Cafe Central are the main reason the B- value rating. Also, the food was good, but not great. The corned beef sandwich could have had more corned beef. The Egg Salad sandwich was a good value because they put so much egg salad on it. As for the price, about $6.50 for a sandwich when you can eat an entire meal in Siem Reap that offers Asian food for $2.50-$3.50 at a many of places in town. The western food anywhere in this area is more money, but $6.50 for a sandwich is a little high when they hardly put any meat in your sandwich. Its okay if they offer a fair amount of food.
Compared to some coffee-house in Siem Reap, Cambodia it’s a little steep. Temple Cafe seemed to be a better value but no corned beef. There were locals at Temple, but not many at Cafe Central.
Looking at the details of dining at restaurants is my job. My family owned a restaurant and I understand what makes people comfortable and happy. Consistency of food quality and comfortable seating. When I go to restaurants with hard chairs it could mean several things. Maybe they didn’t have a budget for softer seats? Or they bought because of the design over comfort? Maybe the buyer didn’t understand that uncomfortable seats may make people leave sooner. Or they want people to leave earlier so they can sell more food to more people? Theres also a lot of buying that goes on buying from closed up restaurants and its you end up everything, whether the buyer likes it or not.
All I know is that most of the chairs at Cafe Central are about as hard as it gets except for some seats in the back. Not a place I want to stay at long to enjoy my coffee and relax for too long unless I sit in the back if there’s space.
Central Cafe offers a varied menu. Steaks, hamburgers, smoked salmon and other dishes as well. Corned beef is only one item I’ve had there. It’s a nice varied menu and I will be back and hope for the best.
BTW the cappuccino is pretty good and the prices are comparable with other cafés, which are priced fairly high too.
How do I know about corned beef you may ask? My family owned a restaurant that served corned beef plus I’ve been to the best, Katz’s in New York City.
Coming soon…My review of hamburgers in Siem Reap. Burger Wars! Read about in November when I return to Siem Reap.
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