A little bit of Cambodia in Camden: Lemongrass
Last year, I cooked up a massive feast for my birthday, which included an entire roast duck as well as a heavenly chocolate cake made by the Baking Medic. This year, I decided to let somebody else do the cooking, and so a friend of mine took it upon himself to choose a restaurant and cuisine that was unbeknowst to me. The result was Lemongrass in Camden, a small restaurant with very friendly staff and wonderful, simple dishes. When they heard it was my birthday, they delivered in a way I had never experienced before…
Banners on the walls, crackers on the tables… we felt like absolute kings and queens!
Lemongrass reminded me a bit of Mandalay, in that it is a relatively unusual cuisine (Cambodian and Burmese), but a lot of the ingredients and flavours were familiar to me. Both restaurants are also very small, and the quiet, intimate atmosphere is one I love, and one that is becoming more and more rare in London.
After sharing some very tasty mixed starters, quite a few of us ordered the ‘fish amok’, to great acclaim! With a hint of spice and very tender, boneless fish, it was absolutely delicious.
The mango salad had ripe, not too springy mango, balanced with red onion and a bit of heat from the chilis – a great accompaniment.
We also ordered lots of ginger egg fried rice to share, which went down an absolute storm. We actually ordered another portion right at the end to mop up all the leftover gravy!
Another favourite was the very simple ginger chicken. The chicken was beautifully tender (I’ll bet it’s thigh meat and not breast, which is what I always use when I cook), and the pak choi perfectly complemented the gingery flavours. And when combined with the ginger rice, it was absolutely heavenly!
One of my friends and I split a fish amok along with the Lok Luk fillet steak, which was gorgeously tender, with just the right amount of spice. The quality of the meat was as good as any and better than some I’ve had in London, yet the price was incredibly reasonable (under £10!).
The service was sweet, genuine, and friendly, and the decorations were so sincerely offered that I felt quite emotional. Our waitress was very forthcoming when we ordered a bottle of wine that didn’t suit our tastes, and switched it for another without any fuss at all.
Lemongrass is only a short walk away from my flat, so I’ll definitely be heading back there very soon for some great, tasty food at amazingly affordable prices!