Saturday, May 24, 2014

Authentic Rural Cambodian food at Senmonorom in Lowell

Half a decade ago, the Mo and I would come here on the regular.  We would come here and eat family style dinners with our friends or just the two of us on a regular night.  I guess we stopped coming when we discovered Heng Lay and Simply Khmer.

Senmonorom is situated in a small plaza on Middlesex street neighboring the post office and an Indian restaurant.

Senmonorom Restaurant on Middlesex Street Lowell
The restaurant was the first in the area to offer Cambodian Hot Pot with the clear both, similar to Shabu or sukiyaki.  A medium order back then was $ 35.00 (now $ 40.00) and came with a large ceramic bowl of broth, 2 types of noodles, beef, tripe, meatballs, shrimp, squid, vegetables and my favorite, fried bean curd.

Diners would cook their food in the broth while it sat on a propane table top burner.  There were small colanders to pick up the food and ladles to add broth.  There is also a delicious bean curd chili dipping sauce for added flavor.

Although we didn't get hot pot on this visit, the 3 tables near us sure did. You can see the ceramic bowl sitting on the burner in the picture below.

Senmonorom Cambodian Restaurant Hot Pot Soup
We went on a Saturday morning during lunch and the restaurant was full. Since it was only the two of us, the Mo didn't want to get a hot pot.

Our meal started off with huy keung, a Cambodian appetizer made with minced shrimp, pork anbd water chestnut wrapped in bean curd skin which is steamed then deep fried.  This dish is very labor intensive and delicate to handle.  My mother knows how to make it but I do not even know where to start.  Usually she doesn't mind cooking for other people but when it comes to this dish, she says she is only willing to make it for her family because it's such a pain in the ass.

Most Cambodian appetizers is served with pickled vegetables.  The thought is that the side bites would help aid in digestion. The fried appetizers was very good.

For entrees, we ordered traditional Cambodian rural dishes instead of our typical favorite noodle dishes.

The Mo loves pork ribs and spicy curries so we opted for the "Som Law Ka Ti" which has a coconut base with pineapple chunks.  On the menu, it's labeled as Pork Rib coconut soup.  All entrees comes with white rice.

Cambodian Pork Rib Soup $ 12.95
We were given small bowls for individual servings.  I like to scoop out the soup with a ladle and add a couple of spoons of white rice to it.

Som la Ka Ti jrouk
We tried to get a curry pork dish "Pra hok Ka Ti" bu they were out.  We settled for Tuk Kreung which is mashed white fish with lime, fermented mud fish (prahok), herb seasonings, peppers and peanuts.  Usually I LOVE this dish but the one served today was on the salty fishy side.  I think they added too much prahok.

The dish is served with Thai eggplants, Chinese cabbage, steamed broccoli, cucumbers and a bitter Cambodian vegetable, Sa-aom which I don't know the English translation. 

Senmonorom Tuk Kreung $ 14.95
There are sauces and spices on the table if you need to add anything to your dishes.

Typically, Cambodian rice plates and noodles dishes are cheaper than ordering off the traditional menu.   Our total was about $ 40.00 but we had PLENTY of leftovers, enough for two more meals!

The restaurant is also available for hosting smaller functions and parties.  We had my mother's 50th surprise birthday party here.

Address: 1671 Middlesex St, Lowell, MA 01851
Phone:(978) 275-0024

You might also like:

 Simply Khmer review
Simply Khmer Review

Senmonorom Restaurant on Urbanspoon