For the record, this is the first time we’ve eaten Cambodian. We were in St. Paul with some friends, when one of them (she’s Cambodian) recommended we check out Kolap, which in her opinion is the top Cambodian restaurant in the Twin Cities. The space isn’t very impressive – it’s akin to what you find at most small family-run Asian establishments.
Kolap Restaurant, 601 N. Dale St, St. Paul, MN
Recommendation: Excellent. If you’ve never had Cambodian food, head out to Kolap—the flavors are amazing and the preparation spot-on. This place definitely impresses.
The menu is large and each dish is pictured in the menu. On first glance the menu doesn’t look completely unfamiliar – there are influences from China, Vietnam and Thailand and its evident in the preparations.
We thought the single best dish we had that day was the Siem Reap Sour Soup ($8.50) – our new standard for soup, we’d go back to Kolap in a heartbeat, order this yummy soup and slurp down a big bowl each. The broth is fragrant but it’s the combination of the sweet pineapple and the spicy chili that really takes this to the next level. Add some rice into the soup and it becomes a hearty meal.
Although the soup is amazing, the other dishes aren’t slouches either. We highly recommend the Deep Fried Tilapia Fish ($8.50) – the crispy skin conceals the moist succulent white flesh layered with flavor. The Chow Fun with Beef and Chinese Broccoli ($8.50) is a killer combination – the noodles are thick and chewy…and that’s a good thing. The Lot Cha ($7.50) – thick noodles in a sweet sauce, topped with sprouts and peanuts is also very good. For dessert, try the Red and Green Beans in Shaved Ice ($2.50) – now the average person may not find this intriguing, but once you mix the different components of the dessert (coconut milk, beans, jackfruit, condensed milk), it really grows on you. Service was very good – the servers were sitting in the restaurant watching TV so they were easy to find and attentive to our needs.
Most dishes are under $10 (this place is a steal). Parking is available on the street.