Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bopha Devi, Melbourne

Having never had Cambodian cuisine before, I was completely intrigued by this place after having read about it online.  With a curious palate and two fellow hungry diners, we decided to venture into Bopha Devi after a morning of ice-skating.

We were greeted by a friendly waiter who seated us at a roomy table under the gorgeous butterfly chandelier.  The décor is casual but stylish, and we were made to feel very welcome from the start.  

For those who know nothing about Khmer cuisine, Bopha Devi describes it as a fusion of Chinese, Indian and French with chilli served as a side dish.

The hardback menu is divided into 'Little Bites' (appetizers); all of which sounded so delightfully delectable by the way! 'Soups' which included a rice based porridge, a noodle soup and a tamarind based soup; 'Mains' and 'Sides'.

Seeing as Asian food is for sharing and we were all in the mood to share each dish, we opted for the 'Salt-Gor Ang' - beef skewers in a lemongrass marinade ($13.90) and the 'K'dom' - chicken and crabmeat rolled together in a crispy bread ($13.90)

The beef skewers arrived with a lovely julienne of carrot and radish salad and a spicy chilli sauce.  They were just a touch on the dry side, but this didn't hinder the taste or our satisfaction.  The chilli sauce was nice and spicy and the carrot and radish salad was deliciously lightly dressed.

The 'K'dom' - chicken and crabmeat in crispy bread arrived with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.  The unanimous verdict was yummy, yummy and YUM-MY!  

For mains, we ordered 'Bai Mouan' - Classic Cambodian style chicken rice.  Slices of chicken breast sit atop shredded lettuce and sliced cucumber salad with a bed of rice underneath.  The dish was dressed with a 'lively garlic and lemon dressing' ($18.90).

The crunch of the lettuce and cucumber salad married well the rice and chicken.  It was refreshing and light and just oh so right for lunch.

The other main was the 'Lort Char' - rice drop noodles wok tossed with asian broccoli (gailan), beansprouts, egg and our choice of prawn ($21.90).

This came with a generous serving of prawn and plenty of cabbage.  But the amount of chinese broccoli was rather disappointing, I rather expected there to be more than a few pieces of stalk and leaves.  Nevertheless, it was a good robust dish which we all thoroughly enjoyed. 

Service is friendly here, the food is tasty and the ambience relaxing.  I'm glad to have had such a good first experience of Cambodian cuisine and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves Asian food.

Bopha Devi
27 Rakaia Way, New Quay, Docklands, Melbourne 3008
Tel: +61 (0)3 9600 1887

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