After what may have been a dodgy cold roll (which unlike the name suggests, wasn’t very cold) and wandering the steamy Old Markets that traps the heat like a pizza oven, and then the Night market (oddly it was day time!) I really needed a bathroom. I also really felt like a coffee, a real coffee that wasn’t made with condensed milk. Priorities! Like a moth drawn to a red flame I was drawn to the red Illy sign.
My theory being that at least the ‘Cambodian Latte’ will start with the right ingredients. Cafe Central is diagonally opposite the old market on the corner of 9 Street and 11 Street and very close to Pub Street. It’s a bright airy place with massive windows on two sides. It’s tastefully decorated and has 26 overhead fans keeping the heat to a pleasant level.
After ordering a Flat White (obviously used to Australians – potentially even owned by an Australian as I see for breakfast you can get vegemite with your sourdough toast) and with some trepidation I went to the bathroom. If you have ever been forced to use a toilet outside your hotel in some Asian countries you will understand the hesitation.
The well-known mantra is ‘ do not do number 2 if you want to keep clean shoe’.
Ok I made that up. But I’m sure it was running through my mind as quickly as the uncold roll was running through my lower intestines. What a shock. I made the bathroom in time and also noticed how clean it was. Spotless Cleaners could not have made it more spotless! And with plenty of toilet paper as well. This toilet is cleaner than my 5 star hotel room. Cleaner than a pre-Wrecking Ball Miley Cyrus video.
The coffee was excellent as well. I ended up having two.
In unfamiliar surroundings, everyone needs to know where they can get a good cup of coffee and a clean toilet.
While it may not have been traditional – I like to call it Khmer Contemporary- I think if I was staying in Siem Reap for longer this would be my daytime go to place.
Footnote: the local Angkor beer is 1.25!!!!!