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Phnom Penh Picks: how restaurateurs have reinvented to make room for mango

March marks the beginning of Cambodia’s mango season. Get them fresh on the street: green and tangy dipped in chilli salt or soft, orange and fleshy. But it would be a shame to miss the creative spin put on the fruit on menus in bars, restaurants and cafes around town. We chose some of the best.

Mango coleslaw at the Patio uses the fruit instead of cabbage.
Mango coleslaw at the Patio uses the fruit instead of cabbage. Charlotte Pert

Mango Coleslaw ($4.25)
For a European twist on the fruit, Patio’s coleslaw salad uses shredded mango instead of cabbage. Not much from the classic dish remains, with sesame and black pepper providing a thoroughly fusion vibe. Red, yellow and green peppers compete with each other to finish off the unusual plate.
The Patio, #134Z Street 51.

Shanghaied.
Shanghaied. Charlotte Pert

Mango meets chilli tequila ($4)
Mama Wong’s, the newly-opened Chinese restaurant on Street 308, got creative with mangos with one of its signature cocktails. The Shanghaied takes mango juice and dried mango and mixes it with chilli infused tequila, Absolut vodka, cachaca, lemongrass and kaffir lime to create a drink that is as sweet as it is spicy.
Mama Wong’s, #41 Street 308.

ARTillery’s wellness smoothie blends passionfruit with mango.
ARTillery’s wellness smoothie blends passionfruit with mango. Charlotte Pert

Wellness smoothie ($3)
It’s not just the mango season that’s creeping upon us: Cambodia is getting hotter and stickier as the cool season comes to an end. With the Wellness smoothie, the staff at ARTillery has blended passionfruit with mango and crushed ice for refreshment from the stifling outdoor heat.
ARTillery, the Street 240 ½ alleyway, 7:30am - 9pm (Mondays: 7:30am - 5pm)

A generious portion of pancake at ARTillery.
A generious portion of pancake at ARTillery. Charlotte Pert

Pancake with mango, passionfruit and banana ($4)
Craving mango as soon as you get up? One of ARTillery’s breakfast options is pancake with mango, passionfruit and banana – as well as a dash of honey, and a generous sprinkling of raisins and almonds. It’s a pretty hefty portion, so unless you’re ready to eat a meal’s worth, you might want to share.
ARTillery, the 240 ½ alleyway. 7:30am - 9pm (Mondays: 7:30am - 5pm)

Sticky rice is topped with shavings of coconut at Romdeng.
Sticky rice is topped with shavings of coconut at Romdeng. Charlotte Pert

Sticky rice with mango and coconut ($4)
This a traditional Southeast Asian dish, so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular dessert option for tourists at Romdeng restaurant. Best suited to those with a sweet tooth – not only is the sticky rice sugary, it’s topped with shavings of coconut. But the freshness of the mango detracts from the more sickly sticky rice, and at $4, it’s worth it just to try a regional delicacy.
Romdeng Restaurant, #74, Street 174. 11am - 10:30pm (kitchen closes at 9:30pm)

Lime is combined with mango for this daiquiri.
Lime is combined with mango for this daiquiri. charlotte pert Charlotte Pert

Mango and lime daiquiri ($4.50)
Finding an alcoholic tipple which is also nutritious can be a challenge. It might be doubtful that this mango and lime daiquiri is good for you, but it certainly tastes like it. The thick liquid is full of freshly pressed fruit, and the kick of the lime gives it a distinctive sharpness. Decorated with a slice of mango on the rim of the glass, it is also pleasing to the eye. It’s pricey, but the strong citrus taste means you’ll sip it slowly.
Romdeng Restaurant, #74, Street 174. 11am - 10:30pm (kitchen closes at 9:30pm)

Java Cafe’s mango milkshake is made with ice cream.
Java Cafe’s mango milkshake is made with ice cream. Charlotte Pert

Mango milkshake ($4)
Shakes are hardly in short supply in Phnom Penh. Roadside vendors serve up a decent one for under $1 using fresh fruit and a generous dollop of condensed milk. But if you’re looking for something more upmarket, Java Cafe has created a new recipe for the month of March. To differentiate from its cheaper, gloopier cousins, this one is made with vanilla ice-cream and sprinkled with cinnamon for a rich and spicy flavour. At $4, it’s a very indulgent afternoon treat.
Java Cafe, #56E1 Sihanouk Boulevard. 7am – 10pm.

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