May 20, 2010

Khmer Fried Chicken?

If you've ever wondered if KFC exists in Cambodia, the answer is yes. And, on Wednesdays, they offer all-you-can-eat lunch for just five dollars. One might imagine a buffet of chicken and the usual trimmings, but Khmer style all-you-can-eat is different. They should call it something more like, “Our waitresses will put pieces of chicken on your plate until they think you are full, then you will have to shamefully continue to ask for chicken.” We kept signaling the waitress to bring more food, but her inefficient serve-one-person-one-piece-at-a-time style left us wanting more. Lots more. More coleslaw, please. More fries, please. More cola...

By now, we've grown accustomed tot he Khmer way of doing things. Be persistent and patient and you'll get what you want. It may take the better part of two hours, but eventually, you'll eat enough chicken for several families. Yes, by the end, we were greased-up, lard-filled, walking heart attacks. Mystified by the strange version of an American classic (the all-you-can-eat, not the Original Recipe), and convinced that this was our reward for so many nights of “minimal chicken” (a self-explanatory dish we are often left with in the evening), we tuk-tuked away from KFC with fat smiles.