MELBOURNE | Cambodian cuisine is one that’s underrepresented in Melbourne. A few spots have popped up around town in recent years, and Melburnians are starting to wake up to just how good Cambodian food is. One of the newest Cambodian restaurants in Melbourne is Samut, which opened in July this year. I popped in to grab some shots for What’s On Melbourne the other day.
It’s small, long, narrow space, easy to miss as you’re walking down Little Latrobe street. Simple tables and seating, Cambodian murals and trinkets, neon lights, and Cambodian pop-music all help to create a vibrant, welcoming space.
Samut is owned by a team of passionate individuals, inspired by the vibrant street food culture their heritage. They prefer to remain anonymous and out of the limelight, instead preferring to let their food do the talking. In the kitchen, traditional techniques are used to transform market-fresh local produce into tasty dishes.
On the menu, you’ll find a diverse assortment of dishes. Rice, noodle, salad, and BBQ/hot pot specialities, and a few other things. There are dishes that will be familiar to many, and some that are rarely seen in Melbourne. For lunch the focus is on quick, affordable bites, with the menu expanding for dinner.
For pure comfort, it’s hard to go past the kaw sach j’rouk (braised pork belly and egg) on rice. Served with chilli, pickles, and sweet fish sauce, it’s activates all of the tastebuds. The sweet, sticky, tender pork is some of the best I’ve had in recent memory. If it’s a bowl of noodles you’re after, the kuy teav (a traditional pork bone broth noodle soup) is outstanding.
If you’re looking to eat outside of your comfort zone, you’re in luck too. Samut’s menu features things like quail balut and deep fried intestines. If you’re not up for that, there’s also deep fried quail, pork, and chicken wings. For a lighter bite, go for the papaya salad with salted crab.
To drink, it’s a iced tea, milk tea, coffee drinks, and Cambodian sodas.
46 Little La Trobe Street
Sun – Thu: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00am to 2:00am