Siem Reap, Day 5: Shopping + More Food Trip

r. Kim fetched us before lunch so that we could eat (again) in IL FORNO.

When we got there, we decided to eat in the same spot where we dined 3 days ago. One of the servers and Marzio, the owner, recognized us and smiled at us. Was it too obvious that we love their food?

FEBRUARY 23, 2016

Our last day in Siem Reap was just spent shopping and eating. We woke up quite late since we did not have anything important in our itinerary then Mr. Kim fetched us before lunch so that we could eat (again) in IL FORNO.

When we got there, we decided to eat in the same spot where we dined 3 days ago. One of the servers and Marzio, the owner, recognized us and smiled at us. Was it too obvious that we love their food? 🙂

We ordered pesto (for pasta), cheese platter, and pizza al funghi. I am semi lactose intolerant so I don’t know why I initiated ordering the cheese platter. Everything in our plate (taleggio, spicy primo sale, gorgonzola, mozzarella, honey, nuts, pears) tasted good, although I ended up regretting a little bit why I ate too much of them.

The home-made tagliolini al pesto was excellent! Not too oily and you could really taste that fresh herbs were used for this. Serving was just good for one (hungry) person though so good thing we still ordered a pizza.

We were supposed to order one main dish but the waiter (who was familiar to us) told us that we would not be able to finish our food if we ordered a main dish. At first we were skeptical but turned out that he was right.

It was good that they were consistent with how they made their pizza — a tiny hint of burnt crust, thin and chewy, and generous with the toppings. We enjoyed our pizza al funghi and even if we already finished the cheese platter and pasta, we were able to eat all pizza slices. *oink?*

Homemade tagliolini al pesto
Cheese platter (gorgonzola, taleggio, spicy primo sale, fior de latte mozzarella, olives, honey, nuts, pears)

While eating, we were trying to plan having an early dinner before we go to the airport. But when we finished our lunch at past 2PM, we were too full already and we could feel that we would not yet be hungry by 5:30PM.

We walked around the area and did some last minute shopping after lunch. After that, we walked to BLOSSOM CAFE AND TRAINING CENTRE for desserts.

The place is best known for cupcakes that are “too beautiful to eat, too delicious to resist”, as their tagline says. Indeed, their cupcakes looked really pretty! Plus they offer a lot of flavors so if you have a sweet tooth, it will be difficult to choose which one to eat. But, what is more interesting about Blossom Cafe is that this is also run by an NGO that provides assistance to Cambodian women through vocational training. Similar to Marum Restaurant. 🙂

We stayed there until 5PM, and Mr. Kim fetched us so that we could pack the items we bought that afternoon. Before we bid goodbye, we had an obligatory picture taking. Yay! Let me give you a quick rundown why we deem Mr. Kim (of Kim Cambodia Driver) as one of the best tuktuk drivers in Siem Reap:

  • Responds promptly in e-mails
  • Can negotiate rates, even volunteers discount — case in point, his rates do not include sunrise & sunset viewing in Angkor Park but he gave these for free for our 2 days in the main Angkor Park complex (i.e. those days not in Banteay Srei/Kbal Spean)
  • Unlimited COLD water! Very much appreciated especially during our temple run days. He had a small cooler in his tuktuk and even during the afternoon, water bottles were still cold.
  • Very flexible in terms of pick-up/drop-off arrangements — initially we only booked him for Angkor Park trips but we ended up getting him as our tuktuk driver for the WHOLE TRIP, including non-temple run days; there were also a few occasions when we changed our mind on pick-up/drop-off time and he was okay with the changes
  • Punctual, already waiting in front of the house even before call time
  • Recommends activities in case you have free time and no itinerary yet. I remember he showed us brochure for Flight of the Gibbon and Phare, the Cambodian Circus. We did not avail any of the activities since we felt that our itinerary was already enough, but in case interested, he can buy the tickets since he knows locals working there.
  • Very caring as he bought us free unripe mangoes and a local snack (sticky rice inside a bamboo shoot)
  • Cheerful guy, he likes to laugh and smile during conversations

After having our photos with him, we also had one taken with our Airbnb host, Bunthai. As I mentioned in my first post for Siem Reap travel series, you won’t regret booking with her. I provided a review for her listing as well (

At around 6PM, Mr. Somnang fetched us and drove us to the airport. Ride was about 20 minutes and we got there, we found out that check-in would still be 8:30 or 9PM. There was only one restaurant outside the airport — not in the mood for the food they offer, no Wi-Fi so Kim and I kept on regretting out loud how we were not able to eat in Il Forno for dinner…

aThen, Kim had a bright idea — call Mr. Kim to pick us up at the airport and bring us to Il Forno. And so we did. Good thing Mr. Kim was available at that time so after about 30 minutes of waiting, he arrived at the airport and we rode his tuktuk again. Hooray to spontaneity?!

When we reached Il Forno, the place was jam-packed! Good thing there were 2 seats left and it was amazing because it was “our” spot, the table where we ate for the past 2 occasions. Marzio approached us and we told him that we wanted gnocchi and a main dish. Unfortunately, he told us that we would have to wait for 40 minutes because the orders ahead of us were for big groups. I think we were unable to hold back our sad + disappointed looks since he suddenly said that if he could give us pizza quickly, especially because we had a flight to catch. We were already happy with that since we absolutely loved the pizza  at this place so we ordered Pizza Ricca.

It usually takes 10-15 minutes for the pizza to arrive so we kept ourselves busy with chatting. We were surprised though that 5 minutes after ordering, the pizza was already served to us. We looked if they brought the wrong order but it was Pizza Ricca. We were deeply moved by their concern and service for us, which made the pizza taste even better. The pizza was still cooked perfectly, not undercooked, so we kind of thought if this was an order for another table and they just gave it to us since we were in a hurry. Now that kind of concern and service is something that you won’t be able to experience in all dining places. Before we left, we just had to give our biggest thanks to Marzio for the impeccable service they provided us.

Pizza Ricca

After our wonderful dinner at Il Forno, Mr. Kim drove us back to the airport and this time, for real, we bid farewell to each other. Flight back to Manila was not delayed, thankfully. Kim had an awesome foreigner seatmate who is working here in MNL. We exchanged some stories of our Siem Reap trip and he gave me advice for my BKK trip for March. Even until the end, we still got to talk to a fellow traveler which was really cool for me. 🙂

Despite the intense heat, Siem Reap will be a majestic place for me and the kindness of the people is something that I will never forget. Til the next time we see each other again, Siem Reap!


Before I end this post, a big shout out to my best friend, Kim, who made this trip very memorable! Even if we are total opposites when it comes to traveling — I’m a planner, she is more spontaneous — we really had good chemistry. No bickering, no negative feelings, just pure fun and kulitan. Cheers to our first awesome travel… and cheers to more travels together in the future! ❤



Siem Reap, Day 0-1: Angkor Archaeological Park – 8 Park Stops in 1 Day

Siem Reap, Day 2: Il Forno, Quad Adventure Cambodia, Miss Wong, Pub Street

Siem Reap, Day 3: 10 Park Stops in 1 Day, Touich Restaurant

Siem Reap, Day 4: Outskirts of Angkor Park, Bugs Cafe, Lemongrass Garden Massage

Foodgasm episode 8: ä Veneto + Gelatissimo

Condiments. Nananana… ♫♫♫

Yesterday, Kim and I celebrated our 7th anniversary as best friends. August 17 was not really the first day that we became BFFs. Who would ever know or remember when two people became best friends, right? So, we decided to do some computations that involve our birthdays. In the end, we got August 17 to mark our anniversary. 🙂

Image from The Signal

We were supposed to eat at Little Tokyo (Makati) but the resto where we wanted to eat opens at 6PM… and it was just 3PM in our watch. 😦 The first “alternative” I thought of was to do our date in TriNoMa then just decide where to eat when we get there. Kim liked the idea so we went there right away. Since it was too early to eat dinner, we bought tickets for The Bourne Legacy. Hello Jeremy Renner! ♥ And of course, hello to my own country (MNL, Philippines) where the scenes from the latter part were shot! Can’t say that the movie was really great. For me, it was just okay.

Hello there, my shrimps! :))

After the movie, we went to ä Veneto to have our dinner. We decided to order two dishes then share these so that we would be able to taste both dishes — I ordered Oil and Garlic with Shrimps in White Sauce while Kim ordered Philadelphia Burger.

Oil and Garlic with Shrimps in White Sauce (PhP305)

I totally loved what I ordered since the aglio olio-ness (T/N: garlic and oil) was very much present. The white sauce added texture to the pasta and it did not overshadow the aglio olio-ness. 😀 There were plenty of huge shrimps as well, which was a big plus for me.

Philadelphia Burger (PhP190)

As for the Philadelphia Burger, the burger patty was grilled to perfection — not too chewy and burnt well. Along with their special dressing were mushrooms and onions. 😀 Kim and I were also happy with the fries that came along with the burger since they were not oily.

Think we were both full after that?

Well, yes, we were already full after the ä Veneto dinner. But, we were craving for gelatooooo! The solution for that? A quick visit to Gelatissimo. 😀 As usual, we had a hard time choosing what flavor to buy since there were a LOT of flavors to choose from. In the end, I bought the Forest Berry Cheesecake while Kim had Tiramisu. One scoop of gelato is worth PhP110. Quite pricey but it’s worth it!

Forest Berry Cheesecake (1 scoop = PhP110)
Tiramisu (1 scoop = PhP110)

Last night was really good… the perfect way to de-stress especially since August is hell month for universities (boo midterms!). We were also able to catch up with each other since we haven’t met for a few weeks. (Belated) happy anniversary again, propphi! >:D<

Me and Kim

Oh. My sister noticed that our dinner was actually Italian-themed. We didn’t plan that at all. Haha!


ä Veneto: Level 1 Plaza, TriNoma, Quezon City

Gelatissimo: Level 4 Plaza, TriNoma, Quezon City