Kampot Kitchen, Preston

MELBOURNE | Kampot Kitchen was opened by Cambodian-born, Melbourne-raised singer-songwriter and music teacher Jimi Lundy in 2021. Named after the famed, aromatic kampot pepper of Cambodia, Kampot Kitchen is the culmination of an idea that Jimi had in 2019. Fuelled by a desire to open a venue where he could share his Cambodian culture, heritage and food.

Kampot Kitchen is a place where Cambodian expats can find a taste of home, and the wider Melbourne community can discover a cuisine they might not be familiar with. Everything is made from scratch where possible, on site, using traditional cooking techniques.

When I first visited in 2021, the menu was centred around num pang. Num pang is a baguette with thin, crisp crust and soft, airy texture. It’s typically filled with savoury ingredients, similar to the also French-influenced Vietnamese bánh mì, khao jee pâté or Laos.

There are 12 different num pang at Kampot Kitchen. Unlike the traditional kind you’ll find at most street vendors in Cambodia, Jimi’s versions use fillings and flavours drawn from classic Cambodian dishes and family recipes. It’s traditional food presented in a non-traditional, but still very much a Cambodian, way.

The classic features grilled beef or chicken with kampot lemongrass paste & lime zest. My favourite, the Ko Kho, is filled with Cambodian style hearty braised pulled beef caramelised in broth. For vegetarians, the caramelised sweet and sour tofu num pang is a great option.

Beyond num pang, there’s a variety of other things on the menu these days. Essentially the num pang fillings presented in different ways. There’s chicken and beef skewers served with papaya and carrot salad; and your choice of protein served on a bed of rice with slaw, egg, and kampot dipping sauce. There’s also things like tuk tuk fried chicken wings, and hearty ko kho, in its traditional soup form (perfect now that winter is here).

It’s hard to go past a cup of Cambodian iced coffee to drink. It’s similar to Vietnamese coffee, sweetened with a generous dollop of condensed milk. The version at Kampot Kitchen uses locally roasted Gravity espresso beans, rather than the usual Robusta filter beans for a stronger coffee flavours. There’s also “regular” espresso-based coffees, as well as juices, sodas, and cut-to-order fresh coconuts.


Kampot Kitchen

11 High Street
Preston
Victoria 3072
Australia

Telephone: 0401 744 729
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Mon, Wed – Fri: 10:00am to 3:00pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00pm to 11:00pm

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