For travelers to Battambang, the chief attraction of Nary Kitchen is its namesake, Nary, and the kitchen, both for its cooking classes and reputation for safe food that doesn’t upset sensitive foreign tummies. The staff are happy to let you check out their gleaming kitchen, which makes for a reassuring start to a meal. The restaurant is also one of the few in Battambang with genuine vegetarian dishes (it can be hard to avoid fish and oyster sauce elsewhere!).
Nary’s Kitchen in Battambang.
Located down a side street in Battambang, Nary’s has a quieter atmosphere than restaurants in the town center. The restaurant’s fare includes Khmer traditional food, as well as other typical Asian and Western dishes. Fish amok is a specialty, and fresh spring rolls are always popular. On average, a main meal will cost you about three dollars.
Nary Kitchen is also Battambang’s original Khmer cooking school. It’s run by genial, talkative Doot, who is fluent in English and French, and his wife Nary, who oversees the cooking. Nary learned her recipes on the family farm as a child.
Nary herself, after whom the restaurant is named and who runs the cooking classes.
Classes, which cost $10, are preceded by a shopping trip to the market, to show you how to identify the freshest local ingredients. Classes teach you to cook four courses including a dessert. The class takes three hours and you get to eat what you make and a recipe book (in English and French) to take away.
When we visited, the menu they were making included fresh veggie spring rolls, fish amok, beef lok lak, and a banana and tapioca and coconut milk dessert.
Sit down and stay for lunch!
Nary Kitchen is on Street 111, near the western end of Psar Nath (the main market). It’s easy enough to find, but you if needed your tuk tuk guy can phone for directions. Don’t let him mix it up with ‘The Kitchen,’ another eatery. The restaurant is open from breakfast until 10 p.m., or often later if everyone is having a good time.
Cooking classes are twice a day, in the morning from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and in the afternoon from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. and cost $10 per person. It’s best to book for the cooking school in advance ([email protected] or 012 763 950).
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Street 111, near Psar Nath, Battambang
T: 012 763 950
By John Macgregor