Type: Vegetarian Restaurant
Average Price: $8 - $15
Address: The Passage (mid way along), Old Market, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Amongst the various eateries found within the central hub of the bustling Old Market area in Siem Reap, foreign visitors have a large selection of food ranging from very typical western dishes to slightly more exotic choices such as Crocodile or Snake. But somewhere within this carnivorous heaven is a little vegetarian sanctuary called Chamkar - which in Khmer loosely translates to “the vegetable garden”.
Their claim to fame is to cook with fresh local vegetables, and strive to use organic ingredients whenever possible, providing a gourmet and healthy dining experience for all lovers of food. All dishes are guaranteed free of meat, fish, fish sauce, eggs and MSG.
Enough of the introduction, what you all probably want to know is about the food! Well firstly I should make it clear that I am no vegetarian and I’m happy to tear away at some fleshy meat such as the above mentioned snake (python to be precise, a great workout for your jaw muscles may I add!), BUT this place is quite possibly hands down one of my fa
vourite and most enjoyable restaurants I have been to, so much so that I made a total of 3 visits in 3 consecutive evenings. So as Ms C.C. would say: so let’s get down to business ya’ll…
Day 1 – The Discovery
As I’m seated and passed the menu, two ladies sitting on the table beside me just finished there meal and tell the waitress how fantastically awesome the entire meal was and enquire about the subtle flavours of the dish they just ate! So this is a good start already! After going through the menu, I decide order: Rediscovering Tofu - Stuffed Tofu with fried pumpkin, curry paste and toasted peanut served with an onion and green pepper chutney (and served with rice).
So how good was this exactly? Well rate your favourite dish on a scale of 1 to 17, multiply it with any random number between 1 and 100, add 50 and square the result! Yes that equals… SUPER YUM. The flavours worked very well, the chutney was delicious and I was totally stuffed! All for a little over $5 USD - great value for money as well! I liked it so much I knew I had to try and sample as much as I could off the menu during the rest of my stay.
Day 2 – Man on a Mission
Even though the main meal from the previous evening left me totally stuffed, I just HAD to go all out and order 3 courses because I wanted to taste more and more!
Starter: Coconut Dream - Chilled coconut milk and sweet potato cream topped with tofu, fresh tomato dices and sesame seeds. This was very refreshing and cooling, much welcomed as I was sitting in the Cambodian heat of the evening.
Main: Truly Rooty - Crunchy cassava fritters with yellow curry paste and toasted cashew nuts served with a delicately perfumed chilli and krasaing fruit sauce and a green mango chutney on the side.It looks deceptively light but infact was once again very filling. It had a nice blend of textures and flavours.
Dessert: The Mellow Treat - Traditional Cambodian cake flavoured with palm sugar and served with a sweet coconut and yam bean sauce. Very different to the typical western pudding, and wasn’t overly sweet.
At the end of this humongous meal, I was well and truly stuffed. It’s a good thing I had trekking planned at Phnom Koulen National Park the following day!
Day 3: It’s Getting Emotional
My final day in Siem Reap and my last opportunity to sample these great Khmer influenced vegetarian dishes. Although I wanted to do a full 3 course one last time, I just couldn’t do it as I still planned to eat some of the more exotic meat dishes.
Ratana's Spring Roll - Green mango, fried yam bean, cucumber, carrot, lettuce and a wide range of fresh aromatic herbs served with a sweet coconut and chilli sauce. Nice, crunchy and fricka-fricka-fresh!
Biting Amok - fragrant bites rolled in amok leaf and cooked in a slightly spicy coconut milk sauce, creating a broad range of distinct sweet, sour and spicy flavours. Amok is a signature Khmer dish and as my farewell dish, it made sense to taste the vegetarian twist on it.
It was nice but the fish and chicken versions have the edge in my opinion. This was served with wholesome brown rice this time meaning I was EXTRA stuffed so I had to sadly leave some food on the plate.
Uncle Manish’s thoughts…
If you are ever looking to visit the Angkor Temples, you can relax in knowing that there is a kick-ass vegetarian restaurant that will cater for your dietary and tastebud needs. The service is always friendly and given with a smile, tasteful decor and very reasonable prices. You can happily eat like a King/Queen with a 3 course meal for under $15 (approx £10). Almost good enough to make me convert back to vegetarianism…
Rating out of 17:
Tonight I attended a really interesting talk on Factory Farming given by UCL Veg Society in association with Compassion in World Farming. The woman talked to us about intensive farming and how for example Nocton Dairies Ltd has re-applied to open a US-style ‘super-dairy’ in Lincolnshire, England. Now, a super-dairy farm would be an indoor factory farm with over 8000 cows, milked by machines, who would spend the majority of their life indoors, in a steel prison basically.
This was the video they showed us today and it gives you a little hint on how factory farming works and how Compassion in World Farming are trying to stop this.
Think again. How about Silicon Dixoide, Caramel Colour, Citric Acid and Maltodextrin in your meat?
Because that is exactly what you're getting. Seriously folks, when are you going to stop buying food from places that have no interest whatsoever in the state of your nutritional wellbeing but only in your pocket money? Buying food from a fast food restaurant is like buying a crucifix from the devil.
It just doesn't make any sense.
Woho! Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of the brilliant book Eating Animals is coming to London this week to hold a talk at the London School of Economics. Can’t wait. For those of you who haven’t read it yet, you must! It’s such an inspirational book which will make you question every. Single. Thing. Especially the meat industry and where all the hundreds of tons of farmed animal excrement goes. Just saying - you wont be happy when you find out. And if you thought back "into the earth"? Hahahahah.
Woaw. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “The total economic cost of overweight and obesity in the United States is $270 billion per year while the cost in Canada is about $30 billion a year, a new study shows.”
So...North America has a cost of 300 billion dollars a year which goes to the treatment of obese people. Woaw. I'm definitely not trying to blame obese people here; history has showed us that people will do/eat/love pretty much anything which is put in front of them: smoke, eat a 3000 calorie burger made out of a corpse, love Sarah Palin. I mean let's face it: people are in general not that smart. Unfortunately, our lack of higher intelligence along with our ability to adapt to anything has made us victims of war, slavery, oppressive regimes and so on. I say victims, but let's not forget that it was we, the people who caused all of this. Not marsians - people. Anyway, I'm getting a bit too political here, the point I want to make is that it’s not entirely the individual's fault for being fat. I mean plumper Joe maybe doesn't know that deep-fried corndogs are bad for him? Maybe we should teach him that? HEY I KNOW, I HAVE GREAT IDEA! Why not put those 300 billion into education and educate the chubby kids of America that mama’s mac and cheese puddings are evil. Eviiiil. Just an idea.
BRUSSELS (AFP) – The child abuse scandals rocking Belgium's powerful Catholic Church are also shaking the faith of followers, with more and more people asking to be struck off baptism registers -- a global movement known as "de-baptism".
"When you don't agree with an organisation that you never chose to join in the first place, the healthiest thing to do is to leave," Damien Spleeters told AFP.
In this mainly Catholic country of 10 million people, the 24-year-old is among a growing crowd exasperated by church policy on issues such as AIDS, and angered by revelations last year of massive child abuse by priests and lay workers.
After reports in April that the Bishop of Bruges had sexually abused his own nephew for 13 years, starting when the boy was five, a church-backed commission in September issued graphic testimony of nearly 500 cases of child abuse by priests and lay workers, including 13 victims who committed suicide.
Spleeters last year wrote to the bishop overseeing the parish where his parents had him christened as a baby to announce he no longer wanted the church "to speak in his name" so was requesting to be struck off the baptism register.
"Whilst we deplore your decision," replied Abbot Jean-Pierre Lorette, "the Catholic Church respects each individual's freedom and will not hold back against their will those who wish to leave it."
Spleeters, the priest added, was in consequence "logically" excommunicated.
In an interview, the young Brussels resident said "I don't consider myself an atheist" but explained he turned to de-baptism due to growing irritation with the Catholic hierarchy.
The move was not uncommon, said Daniel Leclerq of the group "Friends of Secular Morality".
"Pope Benedict XVI's statements against condoms, the appointment of a conservative -- Andre-Joseph Leonard -- to head the Belgian church in early 2010, and the child abuse revelations have led to a hike in de-baptisms," Leclerq said.
The church itself played down the phenomenon.
"The percentage is tiny compared to the size of Belgium's Catholic community," said Tommy Scholtes, spokesman for the country's bishops. "It's only understandable that people will come into conflict with an institution, but one incident can't topple the entire institution."
In practise, de-baptism consists in writing to the church where the christening took place. The name is not actually struck off but noted on the baptismal registry, meaning that those who decide to leave cannot be married in the church or expect a Catholic funeral.
The trend has gained a substantial following worldwide with atheist groups and secular societies backing online de-baptism for people who see churches as being increasingly out of tune with modern life.
But in Belgium the chord struck hard amid last year's child abuse scandals, the latest country after the United States, Ireland and Germany to face fallout over paedophilia priests.
While the church has apologised for the abuses and admitted "inadequate" handling of the cases, victims complain it has not proposed compensation.
Last month, Archbishop Leonard, the Catholic primate who is a conservative close to Pope Benedict XVI, drew further fire on telling a parliamentary inquiry that compensation was a decision for the courts to take.
Civil authorities should decide whether an institution must pay damages when its leaders "are not personally implicated in the crimes," he said.
"They have become masters in sweeping the dirt under the carpet," said Spleeters.
The one-pill emergency contraceptive brand i-Pill has a new name: Nextime
The Paras company acquired the i-Pill from Cipla and thought it a good idea to change the brand name. To one similar to another emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) brand already on the market. Brilliant, no? But I digress.
So, Nextime is a one-pill, 1.5 mg levonorgestrel (LNG, a progestin) emergency contraceptive pill. You take it as soon as possible after the act of unprotected intercourse, up to 5 days. The sooner you take Nextime, the more effective it is.
Both the i-Pill and Nextime are available on Amazon for $19.98.
Nextime should not be confused with Next Choice.
Next Choice is a two-pill, 0.75 mg LNG per pill, brand. (Next Choice is the generic for the now discontinued Plan B.) The regimen for Next Choice is the same--take *both pills* at the same time (disregard the label instructions) as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse, up to 5 days. The sooner you take Next Choice, the more effective it is.
Next Choice is also available on Amazon for $52.75.
You should also be able to find Next Choice in pharmacies (behind-the-counter for women and men 17 and older; with a prescription for those <17 yo). Best to call ahead and make sure your local pharmacy has it in stock and to inquire about the price.
To recap, the dedicated ECP brands are:
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Four students who posed for photos with a human placenta have been kicked out of a suburban Kansas City nursing program after one of the pictures was posted on Facebook.
One of the students, Doyle Byrnes, has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Kansas seeking to force Johnson County Community College to reinstate her before classes resume Jan. 19.
The Kansas City Star reported that Byrnes and several other students were attending a lab course at Olathe Medical Center in November when one of them asked a nursing instructor for permission to photograph the placenta so they could share the experience on Facebook.
The lawsuit against the college and several of its employees said that the nursing instructor responded, "Oh, you girls," but didn't tell them not to do it or that it could result in discipline.
Afterward, Byrnes posted a photo on the social networking site showing her smiling broadly, wearing a lab coat and surgical gloves and leaning over the placenta in a tray. Nothing in the photos identified the woman from whom the placenta came.
The photo was on Facebook for about three hours until the nursing instructor called Byrnes and told her to remove it. Byrnes asked if she was in trouble and the instructor replied she was not, the lawsuit says. Byrnes removed the photo immediately and has since closed her Facebook account.
Byrnes and the other three students who posed with the placenta were expelled the next day. The lawsuit didn't fully identify the other students.
Jeanne Walsh, director of nursing at the college, criticized Byrnes in a letter that was included as an exhibit with the complaint.
"Your demeanor and lack of professional behavior surrounding this event was considered a disruption to the learning environment," the letter said.
Sigh. I guess I just have to keep bringing my little cotton bag of sunflower seeds and dried dates to the cinema. Along with my hemp scarf, my pocket-dehydrator and my yoga mat. That's right, it's about going all the way people. All the way.
Sandra Lee is the glamorous, live-in love of Gov. Cuomo - and nobody seems to mind that they're not married.
Even outspoken Catholic activist Bill Donohue of the Catholic League passed on a chance to decry what some religious conservatives would deem as "living in sin."
Donohue declined to be interviewed, saying through a spokesman, "We're not one to pass judgment" on how people conduct their personal life "or how people celebrate their religion."