Royal Angkor (Kingston) – A steal of a deal

On J’s first visit to Kingston, we decided to check out a local dive that Justin, a friend of ours who did his undergrad degree at Queen’s, recommended. Royal Angkor is located in the “hub” and can be politely described as a hole in the wall.

What blew us away when we sat down was the 1980s vintage chairs and tables. I love wood veneer on tables! A nice guy wearing an apron seated us by nodding towards a table and gave us our menus. He then poured us water. Then he went into the kitchen and started cooking. Interesting. A hostess, a server, AND the cook. I only saw one other person in the kitchen who was presumably his wife. I believe she was the prep cook.

I had a nasty cold during my vacation so I decided that a hot and spicy soup would help clear my sinuses. This is the Phnom Penh Soup (chicken, green curry, eggplant, mushroom, coconut milk, basil with rice) for $7.95. It was absolutely fantastic. It wasn’t just green curry soup. It was not too oily, reasonably spicy, very clear in flavour, and a rich mixtures of textures. I loved this soup.

A disappointing phad thai (fried noodles Thai style, fried tofu, green onion, tomato, cocumer, and roasted peanuts) for $6.95. It was not particularly peanuty, sour, or spicy. It tasted essentially like fried noodles with some vegetables thrown in. This is the second time that I have had this style of pad thai (I had it once at Phnom-Penh on King Street). Maybe I just don’t like the Cambodian take on this dish.

This was the dish that was recommended to me by Justin. This is the Golden Chicken (spicy hot and sour chicken, peanut, lemon grass with rice) for $7.95. I really liked this dish. You got a lot of chicken! The flavour was very nicely peanuty (a contrast from the disappointing phad thai above) and also had quite a significant amount of zing. I ended up removing some of the peppers from the dish (I felt ashamed, I am such a wuss). Compared to Cambodiana, I liked this one a lot more. My only concern that it was fairly oily.

This is the Kako Khmer (chicken, green papaya, green jack fruit, green chili, eggplant, long bean and rice) for $7.95. A very interesting dish. A bit unorganized in its flavours. The jack fruit was surprising. I liked the Golden Chicken more but this was a nice dish to mix it up a little. It could’ve used a bit more colour. A red pepper perhaps? Ok, that sounded snobby but I just thought this dish was quite green.

Overall, Royal Angkor really delivered on value. Some of the dishes were obvious misses (the phad thai was forgettable) but there were obvious winners (the Phnom Penh soup and Golden Chicken notably). Our 4 dishes cost us under 30 dollars including tax and tip. Simply amazing. If you are hungry and poor, you have to come here!

Royal Angkor, 523 Princess St. Kingston, ON, 613-544-9268, www.royalangkor.ca

Royal Angkor Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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~ by Russ on October 7, 2008.

7 Responses to “Royal Angkor (Kingston) – A steal of a deal”

  1. Agreed, this resteraunt is definitely a steal. After years of frequenting the place, I’ve come to learn that the woman in the back is the owner’s wife, and on occassion a 20 something girl who waits tables is their daughter. I recommend #1 (Red Curry Chicken) or #19 (#1 but made with tofu instead of chicken).

    If you like this, Pat’s Restaurant (Cambodian and Thai) on Division at Elliott is also excellent.

    • Thanks for the comment Tori. I tried Pat’s but thought the Golden Chicken was wayyy to salty. I have to go back another time to confirm but I wasn’t super happy with it. That being said… my fiance tried out item #1 at Pat’s and it was really tasty. Maybe I just need to order things other than Golden Chicken. As I recall… wasn’t Pat’s the original owner of Cambodiana?

  2. The soup looks divine! Will definitely check this place out! Thanks!

  3. I think this might be the best Cambodian place in the city! I went there early this year after reading your review (and can’t remember what exactly I ordered because it was so long ago). I really liked that my curry was served with fresh coconut milk, it was delicious!

  4. All of the Cambodian places in Kingston were at one time owned by Pat, except the Wok-In, which I’m told is his brother’s place. I can confirm this because I have eaten at all of them while Pat was the owner. Here is the list:

    Cambodian Village, Phnom Penh, Royal Angkor, Cambodiana, Pat’s.

    I believe this is in chronological order of when Pat sold them to their new respective owners. None of them quite meet Pat’s standards, but they are close. In my opinion Pat is a top-notch chef and Kingston is lucky to have him!

    • I miss Pat already. I haven’t had golden chicken in 6 months. Sadness.

    • The Royal Angkor is owned by Vath and his family for over 12 years. It was NEVER owned by Pat. The Wok In on Montreal is owned by a guy named Kris who is NOT his brother by all means lol. The ONLY restaurant Pat has ever owned was Phnom Pehn on King Street but had to downsize to Cambodiana on Brock Street due to financial problems. He now only owns the one on Division. Get your facts straight!! 🙂

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