A five star restaurant is not what The Mad Monkey is all about. But you don't come to The Mad Monkey because you want hoitey-toitey service and Michelin Star food. You come here because it is a great place to enjoy meeting real Cambodian people who aren't afraid to talk to you and have some really fabulous food.
The first time we ate at the Mad Monkey I ordered the vegetarian lasagna. After a month of eating Thai food, I was ready for some western food. However, I didn't expect it to be absolutely delicious. I have had vegetarian lasagnas all over the world and this was one of the best. It was "almost meaty" but in a good way. I ordered it again the next night - it was that good.
The Nicoise salad was also fabulous and my husband ordered a Caesar salad that he said was delicious and another night he had the vegetable curry. Everything was really, really good and I loved the fact that I could eat salads knowing that they were safe.
However, it was the young women who served us who really touched our hearts. As this was our first experience with the Cambodian people, we engaged them in conversation. They immediately opened up, answered our questions, asked questions and before long I was getting hugs. On our last night, one of the young women took a necklace off of her neck and put it around mine. She wouldn't take it back. They also brought a necklace for my husband. We were so touched because they don't have alot materially but they do have a beautiful and generous spirit.
Part of why we are traveling through S.E. for several months is to get to know the people in each country. We felt privileged to have this opportunity at The Mad Monkey to connect with these young people who haven't had all of the advantages of a first world education or upbringing. For us, it was a real highlight of our time in Phnom Penh and it left us with a lasting memory of the beautiful heart of the Cambodian people. If you can take it all in stride, then you will thoroughly enjoy your experience at The Mad Monkey.
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