I discovered ABBA Café on my last trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Located across the river from the Angkor Night Market, ABBA Café is a rooftop lounge and restaurant. With its hanging lanterns, stylish décor, and romantic atmosphere, ABBA would be an ideal spot to go for a date or to relax and enjoy a cool rooftop breeze after a long and hot day touring Angkor Wat.
ABBA’s menu comprises a small number of dishes from Cambodia, Korea, Japan, and Italy. While only four of the dishes are marked as vegetarian, the kitchen is more than willing to modify its other items to accommodate vegans, vegetarians, and other people with dietary restrictions. I appreciated the servers’ consideration in asking if I ate fish sauce and cheese before delivering my order to the cooks.
In honor of International Women’s Day, ABBA was offering a free fresh fruit cocktail to every one of its women diners. Since I don’t drink alcohol, they graciously provided me with a Passion Fruit Shake which arrived frozen, tangy, and sweet.
I ordered the Fried Spring Rolls and Lasagna Vegetable for my appetizer and entrée. The spring rolls were nothing special, but the lasagna was a flavorful fusion of Italian and Asian cuisines which combined vegetables typical of Cambodian food like cucumber, carrot, and Thai eggplant were mixed with Italian staples such as creamy tomato sauce, zucchini, red and green peppers, and Parmesan cheese. Topped with al dente lasagna sheets, the pasta had a satisfying crunch.
Image of Sam Bonan, Mr. Angkor 2014, via Angkor Bodybuilding Association
I conversed at length with one of the managers and learned that ABBA is not a reference to the Swedish pop band, but is an acronym for the Angkor Bodybuilding Association, which is headed by the café’s owner, Rocky Lee. ABBA’s goal is to promote bodybuilding in Cambodia in order to boost fitness, health care, diet, and discipline among locals (an ideal spot for a fitness blogger to dine!). To this end, ABBA hosts an annual bodybuilding competition. Thirty percent of ABBA Café’s revenues go to support ABBA and charitable undertakings. In the past, the Café has directed funds to Angkor Hospital for Children, Jayavarman VII Children’s Hospital, water and sanitation projects, rural schools, and healthcare schemes.
Images of ABBA school charity event via Angkor Bodybuilding Association
I had an enchanting evening at ABBA Café. The dishes were very reasonably priced given the fine food, genial waiters, swanky setting, and attention to detail. If you’re in Siem Reap, be sure to stop by and support Angkor Bodybuilding Association and Café.
Featured image of ABBA Café via TripAdvisor