Step inside Bunnath Kitchen – the Gold Coast’s first Cambodian restaurant
Unless you’ve travelled into the depths of Cambodia, most Gold Coast folk wouldn’t have experienced truly authentic Khmer (Cambodian) cuisine. Well, that’s about to change. Let us introduce you to Bunnath Kitchen, the coast’s first Cambodian restaurant, which quietly opened its doors in the backstreets of Robina last week.
The unassuming eatery, located on Commerce Drive behind Robina Village, is nestled in the space formerly occupied by long-standing French restaurant La Porte Verte. Bunnath Kitchen’s welcoming and simplistic style sets the scene for an authentic experience where the food well and truly does the talking. The menu, which puts a contemporary spin on traditional Cambodian cuisine, has been curated at the hands of Cambodian-born Bunnath You, who, along with his wife Ivy, set out to bring the true tastes of his homeland to the Gold Coast. Bunnath tells us that Cambodian cuisine sits somewhere between Thai and Vietnamese – it has a slight French influence and showcases the disinct flavours of freshly pounded exotic herbs (known as ‘kreoung’) across dished like curries, satays and char-grilled meats. Whilst some truly authentic Cambodian dishes can be rather strong and pungent, Bunnath has hand-picked traditional dishes that are slightly toned down and more suited to Western tastes. Though, if you like it hot, just ask – Bunnath will happily add some spicy magic.
The menu is succinct and will remain fairly fluid, with different dishes to be featured as local produce flourishes seasonally. The core menu consists of ten dishes, with each one distinctly different in taste. Here’s a tip – avoid the decision-making process and just bring a bunch of friends and order one of everything to really experience what’s on offer. Start with a Keung, which is basically Cambodia’s version of a dim sim – it’s a tasty morsel of pork and prawn mince rolled in bean-curd skin and deep fried. Move onto one of the vibrant curries like the Amok Trei, one of Cambodia’s most renowned dishes, which features a spicy-custard yellow curry with steamed coral trout and spinach. There are a couple of char-grilled delights too, like the lemongrass pork or chicken-thigh fillets, or add a bit of zing with the Plear Saj Koh – a spicy herbed salad with char-grilled eye fillet. Share-food menus are all the rage, but if you’re after a really unique food experience with some mind-blowing flavours, then venture into the ‘burbs and get stuck into Bunnath’s goodness.
Head over to our Stumble Guide for location and opening times.
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