chow here now: il forno: siem reap, cambodia

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I know that feasting on Italian in Cambodia might sound a little ridiculous, but after days of Khmer food I was looking for a little break, a little pesto noodle. Luckily, I found a spot that packs a culinary punch, smack in the heart of Siem Reap. An eatery located in the alley between Pub Street and Little Pari, Il Forno offers affordable, authentic Italian cuisine. From the old-world interior to imported cheeses, wines and olive oils, you’ll fall in love with the gorgonzola salad and propose marriage to the pumpkin butter and sage ravioli.

Twice I hit the spot right before the afternoon rush (the restaurant opens at 12pm — so I recommend an early lunch before the crowds swarm), and was delighted with the fare. A three-course meal consistently clocks in at under $20, and the flavors can’t be beat. My noodles were homemade and tossed with a delightful pesto sauce, and my bolognese was spot-on, hearty and flavorful.

So if you’re seeking a reprieve from Amok fish, chicken curries (all delicious!), I absolutely recommend Il Forno!

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