After a few less than delicious experiences, over the past few months I’ve been steering clear of Cambodian and Thai restos. Last week however, I reluctantly sat down at Cambodian Village (347 King Street East) after a friend recommended it. While this space has the same basic decor as it’s next door neighbour, Bubba’s, you shouldn’t judge Cambodian Village from the outside. Stepping into this establishment, the aroma of delicious food instantly melts away the odour that emanates from the pizza and poutine shop next door. With fewer than 20 seats, we were lucky to get a table during the dinner hour. After our orders were placed at the counter, I had a sneaking suspicion that we were in for a real treat.
My dinner companion and I both received orders of the Cambodian Spring Rolls (A, $4.95), which consisted of three pork filled rolls and a traditional dipping sauce. The rolls were prepared to perfection, which is to say that they weren’t over-fried, nor were they dripping with oil. While I haven’t had spring rolls in some time, I thought that this appetizer was pretty generous in size, and in the amount of filling they contained. If you’re not down with pork, you can always opt for the Vegetarian Spring Rolls, while other appetizers include Thai Fish Cakes, and Fried Mussels. In summary, crispy and delicious.
For my main course, I ordered the Thai Style Green Curry (#13, $8.95), which consisted of stir-fried chicken with vegetables, and coconut-milk, served with rice. As you can see the portions of chicken and veg were again very generous, while the sauce barely fit onto my plate. Although I ordered my curry extra hot, the creamy coconut milk-based sauce helped keep the heat at a manageable yet challenging level. I found that the sticky rice held together well when mixed with the left over green curry sauce. I’m not a fan of mushy rice. Needless to say, there wasn’t much on my plate when I was done.
This is the Thai Style Pad Thai (#15, $9.75), a dish containing stir-fried noodles with shrimp and chicken, bean sprouts, green onion, and roasted peanuts. While I tend to find Pad Thai a bit too sweet for my liking, my companion remarked that it was both tangy and spicy. Similar to the rice served with the green curry, the noodles within this dish were done right, chewy without being underdone, and they contrasted nicely with the crunch of the sprouts. As was the case with the Spring Rolls, you can also order a Vegetarian Pad Thai ($7.95) if you’re so inclined.
With over 40 menu options, including meal-sized soups, Cambodian Village is exactly what you would expect for traditional Cambodian or Thai food. Having said that, I’ve never been to either Cambodia or Thailand, just the local haunts that serve cuisine that passes as authentic. Cambodian Village may not look like much on the outside, but the speedy service, large menu (with pictures), excellent taste and affordability are enough to put it near the top of my list when I get a hankering for green curry. I’ll definitely return within the next few weeks.
Have you tried this place out, and if so, what would you recommend?
13 thoughts on “Cambodian Village”
I'm partial to their red curries and soups myself. I still prefer Pat's on the corner of Division and Elliott though.
The soups do look appetizing, but when I get this type of food, it's all about curried dishes. Impossible to have both soup and rice-based dish as the soups are meal-sized.
I've never tried Cambodian Village but I am a huge fan of Cambodiana – which was started by the same man, Pat, who starts these restaurants up and then sells them. He still own Pat's on Division – also excellent food. The Pad Thai above looks just like the Pad Thai at Cambodiana so I'm going to assume the quality is similar. Phnom Pehn, another resto he started, isn't quite as good. I find the food there a little on the greasy side. It's amazing how much demand there is for Cambodian in Kingston. All of these restaurants are always busy. I just wish they weren't all closed on Sundays.
Probably the best Thai in Kingston. Shame they don't do a golden beef. Green curry is my go-to.
I've heard stories that both Cambodian Village and Cambodiana were started by the same person, along with another excellent Thai restaurant in Toronto called Khmer Thai. I'm not sure how much truth there is to it, but all three have nearly identical menus, and are all downright delicious.
I have heard the same. Not totally sure which restos the original owner of Cambodian Village has opened, but a shortlist of possible candidates also include Cambodiana, Wok In, and Phnom Phen. Presently he operates Pats on Division and Elliot. It's hard to make a fair comparison between restos he's founded and the one he actually cooks out of.
Have you tried the Royal Angkor? On Princess, across from the Mansion. Another "hole", but tasty and the price is right. #1 Is my fav! Extra hot.
I've not tried Royal Angkor. You're not the first to recommend it, so I'll definitely have to add it to the list of places to try. Will certainly give the number one a look.
The table looks like you are eating on grass Harvey! I like cambodian village, but as above, I am a bigger fan of Cambodiana. My favourite is Royal Angkor but the cook and his wife who run the shop by themselves are overworked and pretty crabby. I've had times where I have called for delivery and after 9 rings, he answers: "BUSY NOW. CALL BACK 15 MINUTES." But damn their Golden Chicken is good.
All I have to say about CV…..Tom Yum Soup. Delicious.
Don't go to Pat's restaurant. The line-ups and wait is too long already.
I love the #1 at Cambodian Village – simple but yum!
Cambodian Village is the absolute best in Kingston…..fresh and authentic!! I have tries Pat's and found them to be a waste of $$ (sorry). Try for yourself……
I LOVE Cambodian Village!! I practically grew up on it :) my favourites are #4 and 14 with the spring rolls of course (best I've ever had)!!