GWC - Grill Wine Cafe - is an unexpected find in Kuching. I had read about it on several Facebook posts, but only managed to track it down recently. It is actually part of a new hotel development along Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaide Adruce - next to the McDonalds at 3rd Mile.
GWC is the first restaurant in Kuching to serve Cambodian food. They also serve other Western dishes but we were there to try their specialty. I had tried Cambodian food a few years back during a visit to Siem Reap. It is similar to Thai food- but less spicy. GWC's Cambodian offer is not very extensive. All the Cambodian dishes fit onto one page of the menu.
We started with a Grilled Beef Salad. This is reminiscent of a Thai beef salad, and the flavours are very similar except that this version is less tart. The flavours are quite well balanced.
There were 2 soups on the menu and we ordered both. The S'Ngor Chruok is a Cambodian sour soup - and it is like a lighter version of Tom Yam. Very nice.
Samlor Kor Koo is a traditional Cambodian soup with cononut milk. We chose chicken but you can also have it with fish or seafood. This is a bit like Thai green curry - again a bit lighter and more subtle in taste. There were a lot of ingredients in the soup - pumpkin, green papaya, long beans, young jack fruit and maringa leaves. It was the best dish of the night.
A-Mok sounds like something you could get drunk with - but is a steamed yellow curry with cononut milk in banana leaf. It is the same as "Hormok" - a dish that is very common in Northern Thailand. The texture is like very light steamed egg - and the taste is a bit too subtle. A bit more spice hit would have made it better.
Beef Lok Lak is wok-fried beef with brandy. Couldn't really taste the brandy but the beef was quite tender. The sauce is sweetish and you need to mix in a bit of the accompanying sourish sauce to balance the taste.
This restaurant and the hotel next door is a Cambodian-Kuching joint venture. The service and kitchen staff are all Cambodians. The staff are very friendly and spoke good English. The food tastes very authentic - no doubt owing to the fact that there are actually Cambodians cooking in the Kitchen. A great place to try when you are tired of the other food options in Kuching.