Tel: 092 758 536
This is the Rusty Keyhole, one of Kampot's more iconic eateries and pubs. It's been around for a while and has moved around a bit, but it's known throughout Cambodia for one thing: barbeque ribs. Massive slabs of meat. They're known as the best in Cambodia and I believe it - it's kind of difficult to imagine any better in this part of the world. There is a full menu with a number of Khmer and Western dishes if you've got a vegetarian or whatever in your party (sigh), so everyone's bases are covered, but for God's sake get the ribs.
These are my fellow carnivores from Bodhi Villa. Rusty's is popular, really popular - it's smart to call ahead and reserve your personal slab of meat, as they run out a lot. You can reserve a half rack, a full rack, or a "dino" rack of such enormousness that it boggles the mind. The half rack costs $5 bucks, and the full rack $7.50, and it comes with a choice of mashed, baked, or fried potato, along with coleslaw. I love Cambodian food prices so much. Haven't done the dino rack yet — I'm contemplating eating one to say I did, but I might have to take a medical day off of work. (One other woman has done so. The bar has been set).
As may be evidenced by this photograph, these are absolutely delicious. They're boiled beforehand and then grilled, while slathered in a Secret Sauce of some variety. They're served with a big knife, and not sectioned rib by rib - you eat these more like a chunk o' meat then in the US BBQ rib hands-on fashion. (No one's going to care if you do eat with your hands, though. This is Kampot.) BBQ traditionalists in the Southern mode, like most of my family, will raise an eyebrow at the technique, but there are many ways to make a delicious pork rib and by God, this is one of them, even if there is no smoker involved. It
takes a bit for the meat to come out, but there's beer by the pint and economically priced wine to keep you happy, and there's few nicer places to sit outside and talk about nothing in particular in town. You can watch the ladies manning the grill do their thing, too.
Here's the full plate. The mashed potatoes are also fabulous, as is the coleslaw. The baked potatoes are done on the grill, and the fries are pretty good as well.
Here's another money shot, because looking at these photos makes me happy and fills me with feelings of contentment. They play football, which will be nice to hear for those Brits longing for feelings of home. There's also a large Labrador retriever, friendly staff, and good people watching. You really have no reason not to come here if you're in the vicinity of Lao. People who live in Phnom Penh come to Kampot for the explicit purpose of eating at Rusty's. Just be sure to call ahead.
A gecko on the wall at Rusty's because watching geckos eat stuff provides a major component of the day's entertainment here in Kampot. I consider this an asset.