15 Great Restaurants in Southeast Asia

Vietnamese cuisine at Home restaurantKnown for diverse cuisines and fresh ingredients, Southeast Asia is a foodie’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for amazing curry, a steaming bowl of pho, or something Western, here are a few of our top picks for restaurants in this fascinating region.

CAMBODIA

Malis Restaurant, 136 Norodom Boulevard, Phnom Penh Serving traditional and contemporary Khmer cuisine as well as Western dishes, Malis is known for its lovely outdoor garden, excellent service, and exceptional food. Chef Luu Meng, a Cambodian celebrity who has appeared on television with Gordon Ramsay, has created an impressive menu filled with grilled meats, fresh seafood, and complex curries.

Mahob Restaurant, #137, Traing village, Group 3, Siem Reap This restaurant, whose name is the Cambodian word for “food,” uses the freshest local ingredients to create Khmer cuisine such as local clams with tamarind and fresh basil, green mango salad with roasted prawns, and wok-fried local beef with red tree ants. The restaurant offers a daily cooking class.

FCC Angkor Kitchen, Pokambor Ave., Siem Reap Located in a lovely colonial-style building next to the Royal Residence, the restaurant offers Cambodian cuisine as well as Western items ranging from pizza to steak. Sit outside on the verandah to watch the street life and enjoy views of the river.

Madame Butterfly, National Road 6 – Airport Road, Siem Reap A great spot for a romantic dinner, Madame Butterfly serves authentic Cambodian cuisine in a traditional wooden house surrounded by tropical gardens. Travelers recommend the Khmer crepe, lobster in coconut, and chicken curry.

Sugar Palm, Taphul Road, Siem Reap  Located on the second floor of a traditional wooden structure, this restaurant dishes up old-fashioned Khmer food. Sit at a table on the terrace. Starters include pomelo salad and crispy spring roll, and popular entrees include fish amok, grilled eggplant, and chicken stir-fried with ginger. The restaurant also has a location in Phnom Penh.

Cafe Indochine, No. 44 Sivatha Boulevard, Siem Reap
Among the city’s longest-running restaurants, Cafe Indochine serves Khmer specialties in a romantic setting.  The restaurant’s menu also has a “steak house” section with locally sourced beef, Italian pastas, and salads.

MALAYSIA

Bijan, 3 Jln Ceylon, Golden Triangle, Kuala Lumpur Award-winning Bijan serves up Malaysian specialties in a sophisticated setting. Some of the restaurant’s best dishes include the Rendang Kambing (lamb shoulder cooked in spices) and Opor Rusuk, (slow cooked beef ribs). Desserts include homemade ice creams and creamy durian cheesecake.

SINGAPORE

Image by Edsel Little

Image of food at Iggy’s in Singapore by Edsel Little

Iggy’s, Hilton Hotel, 581 Orchard Road, Level 3, Singapore Spearheaded by owner Ignatius Chan, an award-winning sommelier, Iggy’s offers a set tasting menu for lunch and a “gastronomic” menu for dinner. Dishes vary depending on the season, but the menu includes items such as crab with white asparagus, ginger, and radish.

Restaurant André, 41 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore Chef André Chiang serves up exquisite Southern French nouvelle cuisine at his award-winning restaurant. Located in a peaceful, art-filled space in Chinatown, the establishment serves an imaginative tasting menu (dishes change daily) and fine wines.

THAILAND

Gaggan, 68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Bangkok Serving “progressive Indian cuisine,” Gaggan has been recognized by the press as one of Asia’s top restaurants. Chef Gaggan Anand creates playful dishes such as Green with Envy, green peppercorn chicken kebabs with coriander foam, which are served in an elegant colonial-style dining room.

Nahm, Metropolitan Hotel, 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek Sathorn, Bangkok This “temple to Thai gastronomy” serves authentic Thai cuisine in an understated dining room. Executive chef David Thompson and his team create dishes from all of the country’s regions as well as delectable desserts.

L’Elephant, 7 Sirimangkalajarn Soi 11 | Suthep, Muang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai This gourmet bistro specializes in casual French fare and has an impressive wine list. Menu items include smoked duck breast salad, steak tartar, and pork tenderloin in morel mushroom sauce. In addition to serving food, it is a gallery and boutique.

VIETNAM

Bahn Mi 25, 25 Hang Ca Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. This small bakery specializes in bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) that are among the best in the city. Pick between three types of meat, or opt for a vegetarian version.

Image courtesy Home restaurant

Image courtesy Home restaurant

Home Restaurant, 34 Chau Long Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi Located in a former French residence in Hanoi’s Truc Bach neighborhood, Home Restaurant serves traditional Vietnamese as well as fusion dishes. The establishment tries to use organic ingredients and free-range meat.

Image courtesy of Hoa Tuc

Image courtesy of Hoa Tuc

Hoa Tuc Restaurant, 74/7 Hai Ba Trung, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City This elegant restaurant whose name means “Poppy” is located in Saigon’s old opium refinery and serves contemporary Vietnamese cuisine. Hoa Tuc has an a la carte, set lunch, and kids’ menu, plus an extensive wine list. The restaurant also offers cooking classes.

Academic Arrangements Abroad, together with leading cultural and educational institutions, is proud to offer a diverse portfolio of exceptional trips.

“Kings, Gods & Dragons,” our upcoming journey to Cambodia & Vietnam, features meals at several of these restaurants including Malis Restaurant, Madame Butterfly, and Hoa Tuc. For additional information, call us at (800) 221-1944 or email trips@arrangementsabroad.com.

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