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Gastronomy & Phnom Penh: Martin Simolka, an inspired and meticulous chef

Yesterday, Chef Martin Simolka hosted a press lunch to present the lunch menu served at the Raffles Phnom Penh restaurant Le Royal. A refined experience that began on Wednesday and will end tomorrow, Friday.

Martin Simolka, star chef at Le Royal until Friday
Martin Simolka, star chef at Le Royal until Friday

Three courses were proposed for this tasting in a classic approach: starter, main course and dessert. But what dishes! While the starter was quite original, with crisp white asparagus from France topped with a smoky vinaigrette and kumquat, it was the main course that was definitely the star of this lunchtime meal.

Japanese scallops with spelt, Brussels sprouts, skyr and liquorice
Japanese scallops with spelt, Brussels sprouts, skyr and liquorice

A skilful and meticulous composition of Japanese scallops, small spelt, Brussels sprouts, skyr and liquorice, this experience is a true delight, both in the harmony of flavours and the subtle combination of textures.

"With this creation, I wanted to put the spotlight back on Brussels sprouts and offer an original, healthy and nutritious dish. I love working with seeds and cereals, playing with spices and striking a balance between deliciousness and lightness. I also love working with seafood, and the touch of liquorice is something I did for fun", explains the chef about the creation of this surprising dish, which is sure to be a hit with diners.

As for how he came up with this slightly daring but totally successful dish, he explains: "We have long discussions with the sous-chefs, often lasting several hours, meticulously create the recipe, test it together, offer it to customers on the lunch menu and, if they like it, put it on the menu".

"I pay a lot of attention to textures and cooking. I like to achieve the perfect balance with a little melting, crunchiness and more intermediate textures, it's as important as the components, ingredients and seasonings of my dishes", he adds.

Baba au Rhum
Baba au Rhum

A fine experience, then, with a meal that concludes with a Baba au Rhum flavoured with vanilla oil and prepared with local rum from the Samaï distillery. A meal accompanied by the finest wines, a 2019 Pewsey Vale Riesling and a 2019 Chardonnay from the Maison Trent.

On this first experience in Cambodia, the young chef confided that he was delighted with the "top" welcome and the abundance of herbs and condiments in the local markets. "Cambodia is a great country, it's a bit hot, but I'm happy with my first visit and what I've been able to discover", he concludes.


Merci pour votre envoi !

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