bugs cafe siem reap cambodia

BUGS CAFE – Eating Tarantula, Scorpion, and Insects in Siem Reap

I consider myself adventurous. This means that when i heard we had the opportunity to eat tarantula, scorpion and other insects in Cambodia i was pretty excited to try them all. I couldn’t resist the urge to eat something new for the first time.
I had my share of exotic delicacies in the past but i hardly had a chance to eat proper insects in an exotic country yet.

In Siem Reap you will basically have two options, trust the street food vendors with there display targeting tourist (they even ask you to pay 1 dollar if you take a picture of their fried scorpion and tarantula). Or, head to Bugs cafe, a restaurant specialized in insects and dedicated to cook all kind of delicious meal with them.
Frankly speaking, i strolled through the food alleys searching for street food vendors selling Tarantula and other insects and each time it looked like the insects have been displayed for a whole week without anyone touching them. It was more a pay to take a picture of our exotic delicacies type of thing than seriously eating something that could be great. I guess it can’t be helped in a tourist spot such as Siem Reap. My choice was easy, if you do it, do it well, so let’s go to Bugs Cafe were i knew i could truly experience insects prepared with care and attention in what looked like nonetheless a pretty obvious tourist trap.


BUGS CAFE

Insects are Delicious!

Bugs Cafe has a simple Motto: Insects are Delicious. And they are here to prove it.

It is a good thing to have forward thinking restaurants like Bugs Cafe. Considering the increasing global population and mouths to feed in the years to come, insects are seen as a healthy and sustainable alternative to the coming food industry challenges. It could be one of the solutions of the twenty-first century’s problematics and in case you wonder, there are around 2000 species of insect identified as an edible food source globally, Yum!

Back to Bugs Cafe, the restaurant is located in the center of Siem Reap, at walking distance from many hotels and famous places such as the night markets and foreigner friendly Pub Street. Which means you have no excuses not to try!


The Restaurant:

bugs cafe restaurant decoration

The restaurant is small and has a nice atmosphere. The decoration is clearly emphasizing around the fun of eating insects with nice wall stickers and all kind of things to help you remember you are about to eat insects.
The staff is super friendly and clearly understand you are here to try something new and probably challenging for some of us.

When i visited Bugs Cafe there were a few westerner tourists like myself here to try this delicacy for the first time. I could see the nervous glance of some of them while waiting for their food, wondering if this was really a good idea.

The Menu:

bugs cafe siem reap cambodia

The menu has an a la carte where you can choose whatever dish (snack/tapas as written in the menu) you want from Tarantula donuts, stir-fried insects, scorpion skewers and so on. Not only they sell insect-based dishes but there is also a range of exotic delicacies such as snake and crocodile meats.

bugs cafe siem reap cambodia

The waiter recommended me to order the discovery set where you can taste all kind of specialties and have a full overview of what insect-eating is like. I followed his recommendation and the only thing you are then asked to choose is which sauce you want your insects stir-fried cooked with. Coconut curry, please.


The waiter recommended me to order the discovery set where you can taste all kind of specialties and have a full overview of what insect-eating is like. I followed his recommendation and the only thing you are then asked to choose is which sauce you want your insects stir-fried cooked with. Coconut curry, please.


THE INSECT DISCOVERY PLATTER:

bugs cafe siem reap cambodia

When the platter arrived the first thing i could tell is that the dishes were looking good (considering you are eating grasshoppers, ants, worms, and so on…). Well done, Bugs Cafe! If we eat with the eyes first, the whole platter was really inviting (Way better than what the street food vendors were trying to sell me the night before).

Before leaving you with your experience, the waiter takes the time to explain everything from what you have in your plate, the way to consume each dishes, what goes with which dipping sauces and what it should taste like. I couldn’t help myself but laugh when the waiter mentioned that some of the insects taste like cheese. I mean, Cheese come on that’s a bit unexpected!

bugs cafe siem reap cambodia

It was time to dig in! I hesitated a second before putting the whole tarantula then scorpion in my mouth. You can’t help it, it’s a bit repulsive at first. It goes against our nature, DNA and whatever our ancestors have probably been fighting for years. Some kind of pre-programmed warning in our brain, be careful with this one it could kill you, don’t put it in your mouth! kind of thing.

The hardest part to admit when people ask you, “You have tried eating Tarentula, Scorpion, worms and so on while in Cambodia, So it was really disgusting right?” Is that, *Ahem* it was delicious!

Everything was really good. Not good as in, Ok i went to a tourist trap, i have paid my share, it was ok-ish and i don’t feel like i have been scammed. It was really good as in Give me that menu again so i can order another Tarantula Donuts!
The only one i was a bit visually repulsed by was the stir-fried silkworms. But even considering that it was pretty good.

bugs cafe insects
This one was a bit repulsive
bugs cafe siem reap cambodia

And to answer the question, there was definitely a pleasing old cheese taste with some of the insects. Incredible!

My favourite were the scorpion and tarantula donut.

bugs cafe siem reap
I ate absolutely everything!

The discovery platter costs 15 dollars. Some would argue it is expensive as per Cambodian’s standard, but don’t forget this restaurant is clearly aimed at tourists. Also for that price, the platter was delicious and really filling. Overall It is a cheap price to pay for the lesson learned that day. Yes, insects can be delicious.

Conclusion:

After trying eating Insects at Bugs Cafe i can only be super enthusiastic about the fact that eating insects can be that good.

Bugs Cafe is a place I’d be happy to visit again. In fact, i regretted i didn’t have more time to visit again during my week in Cambodia, this is how good the food was.

If eating insects is what could save the world from meat overconsumption and penury of food. Bugs Cafe did us a great favor here. An amazing discovery platter that will teach you that, not only eating insects is possible but it is also pretty good.
Bugs Cafe is a tourist trap we are happy to fall in.

Overall: 5/5

five stars rating
https://lecaptainfoodie.com


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