Virtuoso Life - November/December 2017 - 24
The Virtuoso Life
DISPATCHES FROM VIRTUOSO INSIDERS
starred restaurants abroad before returning
to Siem Reap.
In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Cuc Gach
Quan served tasty soups and vegetable
dishes that satisfied both me, a vegetarian,
and my carnivorous partner. It's cozy and
elegant, set in a renovated villa.
For the best banh mi in Ho Chi Minh City,
try Banh Mi Ba Lac, a curbside stand located
on the main walking street, Nguyen Hue.
SILK SOUVENIR: Artisans Angkor provides op-
CAMBODIA & VIETNAM
A food-focused journey sets the stage for an engagement.
Washington, D.C.-based advisor Leslie Canter
and her now fiancé, Bo, explored Cambodia
and Vietnam through its food and culture for
two weeks. Bonus: They came home engaged.
"Every year, we visit a place neither of us
has been," Canter says. "We're big foodies and
wanted to sample everything from street food
to tasting menus. We also like to stay active."
Here, Canter shares her favorite discoveries - and how Bo proposed.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
LOCAL DELICACIES: Chefs in Siem Reap, Cambodia,
are celebrating the complexity of Khmer food.
Traditional Khmer dishes, like many of those
in Southeast Asia, provide a balance of sweet,
sour, salty, and bitter flavors, such as rice and
noodles made with fresh vegetables, stir-fried
meats, and unique spice blends. My favorite
restaurant was Embassy, a woman-owned
and -operated fine dining spot. The owners -
known as "the twins" - trained at Michelin-
SKY-HIGH VIETNAM: Experience Ho Chi Minh City's
energy at Chill Skybar, atop one of the city's
highest buildings. Try its refreshing 13th
Street Daiquiri, with white rum, simple syrup,
lime juice, and basil.
GREAT HOTELS: In Siem Reap, Belmond La Résidence d'Angkor is an oasis and a short walk
from the city's most vibrant restaurants and
shops. After early-morning temple excursions,
we loved sipping Angkor beer on our private
terrace. The breakfast spread is incredible,
with Khmer options like coconut curry, fresh
fruits and nuts, or pork noodle soup with chile
peppers, topped with crispy fried garlic.
Located on a former estate for guests
of King Norodom Sihanouk near Angkor,
Amansara is a warm and sophisticated
resort, with the best dining experiences
of the trip. One evening, a Ph.D. candidate
(ENGAGEMENT PHOTO) LESLIE CANTER
Poolside at Belmond La
and (right) the newly
portunities to rural Cambodians, and it has
a silk farm just outside Siem Reap. Visit its
workshop in town for colorful scarves and
other handmade items.