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Thursday, August 24, 2006 

It ain't so bad, being a cow

Having decided to live it up during the first part of our vacation in Cambodia, the Sanguines and a small group of friends checked into Hotel de la Paix, an upscale property located within the heart of Siem Reap. Upon entering the doors of the hotel, it's like descending into a whole different world from the dirt and grime of the city streets. As part of the deal, we were treated to a spa lunch. Wasn't exactly sure what to expect when we showed up, I for one was a little apprehensive when the fixed menu appeared. First question was "where's the meat?", the wholely vegetarian spread wasn't exactly what most of us expected. I think I heard someone say they were allergic to greens.

Anyways, the deli was nearby if anything should go horribly wrong so we proceeded to sit down and steeled ourselves for whatever the sadists in the green kitchen could throw at us.

First up was this vile looking concoction with what seemed like a 200 word description in the menu which included the history and herbal properties of ginseng "stimulate the immune system; and; stimulate appetite (as well as sexual appetite)"... woohoo! I have to say, it tastes better than it looks or smells. That extra shot of vodka did the trick.

With the energizer out of the way, the beet carpaccio showed up. From a distance it really looked like slices of beef carpaccio. I'm one of the few folks who actually like beetroot, partly due to a beetroot (yes, beetroot) diet which I embarked on a couple of years back. Accompanying this purple wonder was the tomato salad, which damn, was pretty good too. I suspect that both dishes were given generous doses of olive oil, which I'm a sucker for as well.

The watermelon dessert didn't sound quite exciting when we saw it on the menu but hey, like the rest of the dishes it was quite excellent. Juicy and sweet, flavored with mint and accompanied by a scoop of mango sorbet, it was served ice cold (plate and utensils too). I didn't quite care for the organic green tea that came along with it though... perfumed with freshly plucked pears... yeah right.

We topped it off with a rather strong coffee ice cream. Wasn't part of the menu but the nearby deli had an irresistable spread of frozen delights that no human could resist after such a healthy lunch.

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