Southeast Asian food is big business in Boston, where you can’t fling a pair of chopsticks without hitting a Vietnamese or Thai place. But Cambodian food, which uses many of the same ingredients as Vietnamese or Thai food and hews to a similar sweet/sour/salty/hot balance, was new to a crowd of hounds who swung by Floating Rock in Revere for a nibble.
fredid raved about a number dishes, including spicy pork with chiles, chicken with ginger, and two soups: the combination vegetable soup (somlah kako) with pork, squash, green beans, and thai eggplant in a lemongrass broth thickened with ground toasted rice, and the sweet and sour (somlah macho yuon), with chicken, tomatoes, pineapples, and tiny lotus roots in sweet tamarind broth. The table also loved two beef salads: board favorite tiger’s tears, made with thinly sliced beef and bird chiles; and beef salad with mint (pleah saiko), which has minced beef with lemongrass, mint, basil, bean sprouts, and red onions in a dressing laced with lime.
NoNatto seconds fredid’s emotions, calling out the “wonderful blend of flavors of textures” in the tiger’s tears, and the “satisfyingly addictive” spicy pork, which needed a side of rice to tame its heat. The only dish the crowd seemed iffy about was the curried pickled fish with coconut milk (prahok k’tiss), which SuzieCK nervously calls “truly funky.”
Make sure you take some time for neighborhood exploration when you visit as the surrounding shops are a wonderland of specialty Southeast Asian foods such as kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, curry leaves, and fresh bird chiles at $1 for a big bag.
Floating Rock [Revere]
144 Shirley Avenue, Revere
Board Link: Floating Rock - Whew!