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A Memorable Meal at Marum Restaurant.

Marum Restaurant Siem Reap nostalgia

Marum Restaurant, Siem Reap.

January 2020.

Like so many of Siem Reap’s wonderful cafes and restaurants, it makes me smile to think of the day we discovered Marum Restaurant. Sladja and I had just finished checking out the amazing Miniature Temples of Angkor, where we got to meet and chat with the legendary Mr. Dy Proeung. Wandering somewhat aimlessly in the general direction of home, we stumbled upon Marum at the precise moment both of us realised just how incredibly hot and bothered we were.

A visit to Marum Restaurant in Siem Reap

Marum Restaurant, Siem Reap.

It wasn’t a difficult decision to dump the burning heat of the road for the sheltered coolness of Marum’s leafy garden. Taking a table under a parasol near the main building, a giant wooden villa, we scanned the menu and ordered a couple of Green Apple Lime & Mint Freeze shakes. Just what our dry throats needed!

Marum Restaurant, Siem Reap.

Delicious fresh juices at Marum Restaurant Siem Reap

Cooling off at Marum.

It was while we were enjoying our drinks that I began reading the menu in detail. Hence I quickly realised that Marum is not what you’d call your average restaurant. In fact, the operation was run by Kaliyan Mith, an NGO that works with street children.

A Green Apple Lime & Mint Freeze shake Siem Reap Cambodia

A delicious Marum shake.

Opened in 2012, this beautiful restaurant and garden complex included an onsite training school where disadvantaged locals can better themselves by training as chefs and servers.

“A training restaurant for marginalized youth”. 

Waiters chatting at Marum Restaurant in Siem Reap

Marum Restaurant, Siem Reap.

As such, the staff at Marum certainly took things seriously. After all, this represented an amazing opportunity to get on in life. They all wore uniform t-shirts and blue aprons. Up close, you may notice the little badges that identify your waiter as either a teacher or student.

No straws Marum Restaurant Siem Reap

Marum was also an eco-friendly operation committed to recycling. In addition to saying no to plastic and straws, their locally sourced produce was chemical free, while some dishes were gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and food intolerant friendly.

Garden menu board at Marum Restaurant in Siem Reap

The specials board at Marum.

Inspired by the idea of dinner for a worthy cause, Sladja and I planned a date night for later in the week. With the specific intention of seeing if Marum’s asian fusion dishes were as good as some online reviews suggested.

A fantastic dinner at Marum Restaurant

Marum Restaurant, Siem Reap.

As a venue, Marum was definitely transformed in the evenings. The whole garden looked lovely, with both the villa and trees glowing with fairy lights. It was busy too, their dozen or so tables awash with couples, families and the occasional hairy backpacker. Having already been warned that many of the dishes were of tapas proportions, we made sure to order a bunch of plates to ensure we came away with happy, full stomachs.

“All our dishes are designed to be shared, so grab a friend and savour a little bit of everything!”

A delicious evening feast at Marum Restaurant

Dinner time at Marum.

Everything we ordered was delicious! Firstly, the waiter brought a piping hot bowl of soupy curry. Featuring, among other ingredients, eggplant, cauliflower and black bean. Really good when you lower a spoon of white rice into it and let it soak. Then came the sticky pineapple rice, served in an actual shelled out pineapple. Finally, we devoured the beef brochettes served with cubed veggies and pickles.

Chocolate Kampot Pepper Cake in Cambodia

Chocolate and Kampot Pepper cake, anyone?

In for a penny, in for a pound, we couldn’t resist finishing the night with dessert. Furthermore, we were both unanimous about what to have. It just had to be the Chocolate and Kampot Pepper Cake served within a ring of passion fruit syrup. Delightful.

Marum Restaurant Siem Reap.

Update November 2022: Sadly, Marum is one of many restaurants in Siem Reap that had to close its doors due to COVID-19. As regular readers know well by now, many of them went under completely. Others closed for an extended period before reopening or relaunching under a new name.

Marum Restaurant, Siem Reap.

waitress surveying the tables

Hopefully not waiting for Marum to reopen.

Marum’s case is a strange one as, at the time of writing, they have the same temporarily closed message on their website that they first put up nearly two and a half years ago. What’s more, their Google listing says the same thing, while an inquisitive message I sent to their Facebook page remains unanswered. I guess it isn’t looking good. For more on Marum, you may enjoy this cool article from grantourismo in which Marum head chef Toun Saren gave his thoughts on Siem Reap’s pre-pandemic food and drink scene.

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For more on Siem Reap’s excellent cafe, restaurant and bar scene, check out my detailed guide on Where to Eat and Drink Siem Reap.

You can also read my exhaustive overview of What to See and Do in Siem Reap.

Looking for a roof over your head? Check out my articles on Where to Stay in Siem Reap.

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  • Anna

    Another one that couldn’t survive… just breaks your heart! I hope they come back somehow!

    November 20, 2022 - 3:41 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Anna. After all this time it seems they are unlikely to reopen, but you never know.

      November 20, 2022 - 3:52 pm Reply
  • Monkey's Tale

    Too bad, this one was not only serving customers but also a valuable service to the kids.

    November 20, 2022 - 5:37 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Yeah, a huge blow to the local community and so many youngsters who count on places likes this for a path out of poverty and unemployment. Thanks for your comment!

      November 20, 2022 - 5:44 pm Reply
  • kagould17

    So many casualties from the pandemic. It is sad to see a restaurant that had it all, social and environmental conscience, good customer service and wonderful food fall victim. Those frosty drinks look to die for and the food choices sound divine Leighton. Happy Sunday. Allan

    November 20, 2022 - 5:43 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Allan, you summarised it perfectly. Gearing up for the World Cup here. Curious to see what happens both on and off the pitch over the next month. Best of luck to Canada! Happy Sunday!

      November 20, 2022 - 5:49 pm Reply
  • Memo

    Something tells me that a place with a mission like that will be reopening when possible. It’s just that cockeyed optimist in me. Love the back stories as well as the pictures of the dishes. I’ll have a #74, please.

    November 20, 2022 - 5:45 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      I hope you’re right Memo, I really do. Thanks for checking out Marum Restaurant, I’ll pass on your order request 😉

      November 20, 2022 - 5:47 pm Reply

    Would be a great shame if a place with such altruistic aims was defeated by the pandemic – but then it’s a shame for any business to have been defeated by it. Food looks terrific (well, apart from the cake which isn’t at all inviting!). Let’s hope they resurrect somewhere in some form.

    November 20, 2022 - 6:13 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Spoken like a true non-sweet toother 😉 The cake was outstanding! We were less than convinced by the sound of black pepper chocolate, but it worked. Just the right amount of spice. Thanks for reading about Marum Restaurant.

      November 20, 2022 - 9:02 pm Reply
  • wetanddustyroads

    I can just imagine how welcome those shakes were on a hot day! And nothing wrong with your food choices (I like rice and I like pineapple … the combination of these two sounds perfect to me). As for the chocolate dessert, I can sunk a spoon into that right now!! Oh dear, once again … what a pity about the closure of Marum, especially because of their work with street children 😔.

    November 20, 2022 - 7:10 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Corna, I think you and Berto would’ve enjoyed a meal at Marum. Their whole ethos as an organisation should have been rewarded by better luck during the pandemic. But it seems it wasn’t meant to be 🙁

      November 20, 2022 - 9:04 pm Reply
  • Mike and Kellye Hefner

    Oh, how sad… they were doing such a great service by teaching disadvantaged students! I would’ve gone for the green apple, lime and mint shake too! It looked delicious. I’m so sorry to hear that Marum didn’t make it. I hope that the owner and his students are making a go of it in a new restaurant.

    November 20, 2022 - 7:27 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thank you Kellye. Those shakes have could been dangerous if one lost their self discipline. At so many dollars a pop, it would have been easy to keep knocking them back in the unforgivable Siem Reap heat. I’m glad you enjoyed this memorable meal at Marum Restaurant!

      November 20, 2022 - 9:06 pm Reply
  • salsaworldtraveler

    It is too bad that so many great restaurants have been victims of the pandemic. The food looks really delicious. Marum’s support of the disadvantaged is commendable. I hope it reopens or another restaurant follows its lead in that regard.

    November 20, 2022 - 9:53 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading John. It feels a bit weird to be posting about these places that are no more. But of course they were key parts of our Siem Reap adventure and I like the idea of them living on in my little corner of the web. Hope you’re well!

      November 21, 2022 - 10:23 am Reply
  • ThingsHelenLoves

    Aw… as I was reading this one, I was rooting for the place to have stayed open. Something that was part of the current scene but sowing seeds for the future is an asset to any community. Hopefully the closure is a pause in the proceedings rather than an end.

    November 20, 2022 - 11:32 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Helen, I was rooting for Marum too. Appreciate you reading and commenting!

      November 20, 2022 - 11:45 pm Reply
  • Lyssy In The City

    Such a bummer to hear they aren’t open, but maybe by some chance they will reopen. It’s such an incredible concept, and eco friendly on top of that!

    November 21, 2022 - 1:41 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading about Marum Restaurant, Lyssy!

      November 21, 2022 - 8:40 am Reply
  • Little Miss Traveller

    That chocolate and kompot pepper cake looks very nice !

    November 21, 2022 - 2:26 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Marion! It’s a unique cake for sure and a curious prelude to our actual stay in Kampot after Siem Reap.

      November 21, 2022 - 8:44 am Reply
  • thomasstigwikman

    That sounds and looks delicious and in a beautiful setting. Too bad they had to close.

    November 21, 2022 - 7:58 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading Thomas, appreciate your comment!

      November 21, 2022 - 8:45 am Reply
  • ourcrossings

    It looks like a wonderful place where you can take a break from temple touring and enjoy creative local cuisine, delicious cocktails and fruit shakes, made using only the freshest ingredients. I would find it very hard to say no to Chocolate and Kampot Pepper cake. I hope they can reopen one day. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    November 21, 2022 - 2:27 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading Aiva, as always, and for sharing your thoughts. I’m surprised the cake hasn’t been more popular as an export. Guess it will remain something special to Cambodia, which isn’t such a bad thing.

      November 21, 2022 - 3:37 pm Reply
  • grandmisadventures

    I love that this restaurant keeps the theme throughout some of your other posts about this area in providing an opportunity for those of disadvantaged means to learn skills and be part of something bigger. I’m going to hope that their ‘temporarily closed’ message just signals that they are regrouping and restructuring and that soon they will be back in doing what they do so well. 🙂

    November 21, 2022 - 6:58 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hear hear Meg, couldn’t agree more. Thanks for checking out our memorable meal at Marum Restaurant!

      November 21, 2022 - 8:27 pm Reply
  • qprgary

    What a shame it shut especially when it was a training ground for youngsters. Looks great though

    November 21, 2022 - 10:35 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Gary, it’s a real pity and we’ll always have fond memories of our meal there. Hope you enjoyed England’s performance today, I found it an unexpected delight!

      November 21, 2022 - 10:46 pm Reply
      • qprgary

        Did watch it, teams like Iran shouldn’t give us a problem, loved their stance against their government. Wish we and the rest of Europe had said get stuffed FIFA were off.

        November 22, 2022 - 2:34 am
  • Travels Through My Lens

    It’s so sad that this innovative and creative restaurant, like so many, didn’t survive the pandemic. It looks like a lovely place that nourishes more than just the stomach. There’s a similar restaurant in Seattle that helps with food insecurity and community outreach called Farestart. Here’s the link if you’re interested

    November 22, 2022 - 6:40 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Spot on, Tricia, my thoughts exactly. Thanks for reading, FareStart looks great too, such an important organisation for Seattleites I’m sure. Have you visited some of their restaurants and cafes?

      November 22, 2022 - 9:58 am Reply
      • Travels Through My Lens

        I’ve been just to Farestart a few times. My colleagues and I often had work lunches there. I remember that the food was delicious and creative. That was at least ten years ago, so they’ve been a helpful presence in the community for a long time.

        November 22, 2022 - 11:52 am
  • Amélie

    I can only echo the sentiment expressed by your other readers that loosing such a place is an immense blow to the community. The food looks delicious, especially that chocolate cake.

    November 22, 2022 - 9:53 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Merci, Amelie. The cake was the cherry on top of a perfect meal that evening. Thanks for reading about Marum Restaurant!

      November 22, 2022 - 10:02 am Reply
  • Stan

    oh darn what a terribly pity. there should be a rule against places like this going out of business, it shouldn’t be allowed to happen. marum looked like a fine restaurant leighton and all the food looked superb, including the cake!

    November 22, 2022 - 2:54 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Stan, you are right, these kinds of organisations should be better protected. Thanks for reading about our memorable meat at Marum Restaurant!

      November 22, 2022 - 2:59 pm Reply
  • WanderingCanadians

    I love the backstory of this restaurant and how it includes a training school for marginalized youth. I’m also a huge fan of places that are environmentally and eco-friendly. Plus the food sounds and looks amaaaazing. It’s a shame to hear that they are closed, especially given their impact on the community.

    November 22, 2022 - 3:37 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Sorry for the late reply, I’ve missed a few comments over the last weeks as there’s been a lot going on here. I’m also a big supporter of eco-friendly eateries. There’s usually a lot of work and expense involved to do these things properly. So I’m always happy to support such places, even if it means a few extra dollars on my bill.

      November 26, 2022 - 10:48 pm Reply
  • 100 Country Trek

    So terrible with these restaurants with no servers during this pandemic. But this food caught my attention. Anita

    November 23, 2022 - 6:03 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading Anita.

      November 23, 2022 - 8:55 am Reply
  • Juliette

    I was about to say that it is such an amazing initiative to have restaurants like this and that we should have more of those in general, so I’m sad to read that they seem to be permanently closed.. Hopefully they will recover. It was an amazung post nonetheless, thank you for sharing your experience there!

    November 23, 2022 - 10:24 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Juliette, yes a not-so-happy ending for Marum Restaurant unfortunately. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment 🙂

      November 23, 2022 - 11:24 am Reply
  • NortheastAllie

    Everything looks amazing at this restaurant, and that is really cool that they were eco-friendly as well. It would be great if all places cared for their environment and took these steps.

    November 24, 2022 - 3:38 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading about Marum Restaurant, Allie!

      November 24, 2022 - 11:00 am Reply
  • Nieves Sanz

    Love the garden and the no straw policy. I do hope they find a way to stage a comeback given the important role the restaurant played in the community.

    November 28, 2022 - 8:27 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for checking out Marum Restaurant Nieves, and for catching up with recent articles in the series.

      November 28, 2022 - 10:13 pm Reply

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