EATING AT: Chankiri Restaurant, Kep – Private Dinner by the Beach

Most of you know how much we love food. I mean, we’re called the Backpacking Foodies for a reason. Most of the time we enjoy food from local vendors or cheap, all-vegetarian restaurants. But every now and then, we treat ourselves with something really good. One of those times was at Chankiri Restaurant in Kep, located in Samanea Beach Resort.

So, during our stay at Samanea Beach Resort, we decided to treat ourselves big time one evening. We booked a private three-course dinner by the beach, including wine and drinks. Our evening turned out to be better than we could’ve hoped for. We were so happy with our romantic evening, that we decided to share it with you.

The Setting

At 5pm it was time for our dinner. We walked through the beautiful, green garden of Samanea Beach Resort, towards the beach. Both of us were really excited. We didn’t know what to expect. A private dinner by the beach… What might that look like? Well, wonderful, it turned out. We reached the beach and we were amazed. There, in the middle of the beach, stood one table alone and two chairs. The chairs were facing the ocean, where the sun was about to set.


The table was set with a white table cloth. On this cloth stood a vase containing a beautiful flower, swaying in the breeze. In front of each chair were plates, silverware and wine glasses placed perfectly. When we were done trying to grasp what we had in front of us and what was for us alone, we took a seat and soon we were served with drinks.


The Dinner

We were served one passion fruit mojito and one watermelon-kind-of drink. To say the least, they were very generous with the amount of alcohol they put in the drinks. The amounts of the other ingredients however, were not as apparent. They were perhaps a bit too strong in my flavor. But on the other hand, I’m very sensitive to the flavor of alcohol.

We enjoyed our drinks while the sun was setting before our eyes. It was a gorgeous sunset. The view from the beach with the sun setting below the horizon and the mountains behind the fog in the far distance, is something I will remember forever.

Dinner by the beach

After a while, one of the waiters asked if we would like to have our appetizer. We had almost forgot about the food, being all distracted by the gorgeous view and each other. We said yes please and soon thereafter we were served a Greek salad with bread and butter. Oh my… Bread and salad, perhaps the two things I love most when it comes to food.

We took a minute to enjoy the beautiful, colorful salad and the (what looked like) perfectly crispy bread. Then we couldn’t resist any longer so we digged in. Yum. The feta cheese and the black olives went perfectly with the dressing and the crispy lettuce. And the bread… It was just as crispy as it looked. It was the perfect appetizer and it made us want to lick our plates. But we didn’t… I mean we were on a luxury restaurant after all. Instead we asked for another one. We simply couldn’t get enough.


Once we finished, one of the waiters cleaned the table. Another took our wine glasses to bring us wine. He said we would be served white wine. Pajam asked whether he could get red instead and the waiter replied “of course, sir”.

The sun had fully set now and it started to get dark. There were some spotlights in some of the palm trees on the beach. These lit up our table enough for us to see what we needed, but with a bit more light it would’ve been perfect. As if they had read our minds, two waiters started lighting lanterns around our table. And I had thought this evening couldn’t get more romantic.

We enjoyed our wines while listening to the waves hitting against the shore. The appetizer had really fulfilled its purpose. We were now longing for whatever else our taste buds would be tickled with. Luckily, it didn’t take long until we were served the main dish. We had grilled eggplant from the organic garden, together with heavenly flavored couscous. It smelled wonderful and it tasted incredible. Just the look of it could be improved, but this is me being very picky. It was flavorful, the texture was perfect and it was very filling – what else can you ask for? Hmm.. I can think of one thing – a chocolate cake with ice cream? Yes. Yes, that would top it off.


Once again, Chankiri had us covered. One of the waiters served us with our desserts. Pajam was served a chocolate cake with dark chocolate ice cream. I got some other type of cake which I’m not really sure what It was, together with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate ice cream had melted and wasn’t in the form of a scoop any longer. Probably because this plate had been finished first and it melted during the time they prepared the other plate. This however (of course) doesn’t affect the taste of it, again just the look of it. A minor thing.

The chocolate cake was really good, all soft and creamy and chocolaty. It went way better with the incredibly delicious vanilla ice cream on my plate, than with the chocolate ice cream on Pajams plate, so we just switched. Instead we did the chocolate ice cream with my cake and the vanilla ice cream with the chocolate cake. Because I mean, vanilla and chocolate is the perfect combo, right?

Once we were done, there were more or less no trace of any desserts left on our plates.

We sat and enjoyed the surroundings, the quietness and our very full stomachs until one of the waiters told us that it was about to start raining. We walked back to our villa.

You know those nights when you’ve done something special and you just can’t stop smiling? Yea. This was one of those kind of nights. We left very happy and pleased with our romantic, luxury night and we fell as asleep with a smile on our faces.

The Staff

All in all, our private dinner by the beach was incredible, as you’ve probably understood by now. The setting was unbelievable and the food was delicious. For this, we have the staff of Chankiri Restaurant to thank.

We felt as if they did their best to make our night as special as possible. They made us feel as if we were their only focus. They checked on us several times to see so that we were happy with the food and if we needed anything else.

From our understanding Chankiri has recently been hiring new staff as they’re trying to expand. This has put them in a situation where they have lots of new staff and not a lot of oldies who knows the game. During our visit it seemed as if the staff was trying really, really hard (which should be admired). It made it seem as everything didn’t come naturally to them. However, we’re sure that after they’ve gotten the hang of it all, they’ll be more than great.

Among these newly hired people is a chef from France with lots of experience working with 5-star hotels. Unfortunately, he hadn’t stated yet during our visit. This young chef will be responsible for the food, update the menu and teach his staff how to make the food presentation as nice as possible. Our guess is that when he starts, things will get even better. We also hope for more vegetarian options on the menu once its updated. We were very impressed by how amazing everything was, given these circumstances.

About Chankiri Restaurant

Chankiri Restaurant is located at the Samanea Beach Resort in Kep, Cambodia. Chankiri Restaurant offers International and Khmer specialties in extraordinary dining set ups. They are open daily and serve every meal of the day, wines, cocktails and soft drinks.

Chankiri Restaurant together with Samanea Beach Resort, is moving towards an ECO-friendly approach. On Samanea Beach Resort, there’s an organic garden where vegetables and herbs are grown and harvested to be used in Chankiri Restaurant. Whatever they cannot produce themselves, they try to buy from local farmers and producers, instead of importing from countries far away (this happens too, but only when there’s no other option).

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DISCLAIMER: We were welcomed as guests at Chankiri Restaurant. As always, all opinions and views remain our own.

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