Kampot’s local specialties involve pepper and seafood. The best place to sample both is at Ta Eou, on the riverfront near the old bridge. Our first night in town we stopped by for dinner. The restaurant is a like a big covered back porch with an array of red tablecloth covered tables. The menu does not have any prices, and when we asked about this we were told “everything is $4.” Reasonable enough, even surprisingly low given how much seafood was on the menu. Unlimited rice is included with every dish, served out of large silver vessels by roaming wait staff.
While we were flipping through the extensive menu, we were given some lightly sweetened roasted peanuts to munch on. Our first dish was an easy decision: crab with Kampot peppercorns, Ta Eou’s most popular dish. We were served an entire crab which had been pre-cracked in targeted places for us. While it was difficult to get to all of the meat (which we expected), we were in pepper heaven. We dug for every crevice of crabmeat and used our rice to soak up every last drop of green onion/peppercorn sauce.
Our second dish was fried fish with ginger. While the Khmer name was probably more descriptive, ordering such an English description was a bit of a gamble as the “XXX with ginger” dishes can often be bland and boring. I needn’t have worried though. We were served freshly pan fried fish fillet pieces with lots of ginger and onions in a very well spiced sauce. Good thing we love ginger!
Today we returned to Ta Eou for our final lunch in Kampot. This time we ordered the shrimp with Kampot peppercorns along with a repeat of the ginger fish. As with our experience at Coconut Grove, the shrimp were a lot less work and tasty as well, though not as delicious as the crab.
Overall, the food at Ta Eou is fantastic, very cheap, and run by very friendly Cambodians. As a bonus, free extras are thrown in left and right, from the peanuts to the unlimited rice, to a plate of fresh bananas given to you with the check. If you’re near Kampot, definitely stop by Ta Eou!
River Road, Riverfront
+855 33 932422
Daily: 10:00AM-2:00PM (Lunch), 6:00PM-10:00PM (Dinner)