I was thrilled when a Cambodian friend recommended this place to me. While other types of Asian restaurants (like Chinese and Vietnamese) thrive in great numbers in the Bay Area, Cambodian food is kind of a rare treat. So my wife and I decided that a visit to Chez Sovan Cambodian Restaurant in Campbell was absolutely mandatory.
As we looked around inside, we were fascinated by a small collection of items representing Cambodian history and culture:
The relief on the wall also caught our attention:
Even the restroom has some attractive pictures on the wall, like the one below. This is the first time I've ever taken pictures inside the men's room of a restaurant!
When our orders arrived, I said "All right, enough looking around. It's time to EAT!" Following my friend's recommendation, we had the beef skewers. The meat had an inviting aroma, and was deliciously tender yet chewy, with a sweetish taste to it.
...the beef skewers also came with a side dish of shredded papaya and carrot, seasoned with a sweet-sour flavor.
We also had amok, which consists of catfish seasoned with lemongrass, wrapped in a banana leaf. I particularly enjoyed this dish, as the delectable catfish seemed to melt in my mouth to release a light, citrusy tang.
The chicken curry was also very good. The chicken was soft and tender, and the curry sauce possessed the rich sweetness of coconut milk, laced with a subtle tinge of spiciness coming from the curry - a very pleasant combination!
The staff was quite pleasant and friendly. I delighted our waitress by saying a few words in Cambodian, which I learned from my Cambodian friend. The word "okun", meaning thank you, was especially well received.
There is still so much more on the menu that we left unexplored. Next time we plan to bring a big group of friends over so that we can order more dishes and more deeply explore the pleasures of Cambodian cuisine.