20+ Helpful Words For Ordering Food In Khmer

order food khmer

Are you looking forward to exploring authentic Khmer restaurants filled with delicious food during your vacation? Then you must sit back and learn some basic phrases and words for ordering food in Khmer. Continue reading to discover more about it.

You must have already saved some basic Khmer phrases and words for your vacation in Cambodia. However, if you plan to devour the impeccable cuisine of Cambodia with an authentic dining experience, only basic words will not do. Although Cambodian restaurants have many English-speaking waitpersons, staff members, and displays, it is still friendly and respectful to learn some native Khmer words like អាហារahar, ជំរាបសួរchomreabsuor, etc. This way, you will enable the skill to interact with the locals, state your concerns conveniently, and have a comfortable experience.

So, if you are interested to learn Khmer and enjoy the Cambodian experience, today’s post, where we will learn all the words and phrases for ordering food and table tips, will become your best guide. Let’s get started.


Cuisine And Dining Etiquette In Cambodian Culture

If you are assuming that Cambodian cuisine is somewhat similar to other countries in South East Asia, like Thailand and Vietnam, you are not entirely correct. While Asian countries tend to have similar cooking routines and tastes favoring multiple blends of natural spices, Cambodian cuisine is unique. Unlike Thai dishes, Khmer food is low on spices. It is more of a blend of taste brought about by Kaffir lime grass, lemongrass, galangal and turmeric, and garlic.

Amok trey is the national dish of Cambodia. It is a dish made of spicy coconut fish curry steamed in banana leaves. It has a mousse-like texture which makes it quite tender and melty. The famous paste of Cambodia, Kroeung, is also used in this dish.

Other famous dishes are Samlor machu trey, Nom banh chok, Kuy teav, and Twa ko. Regardless of the type of meal, rice is a constant, like in other Asian countries.

Table Manners

One fascinating thing about Cambodians is that the most common way of expressing your appreciation for the food is by lip-smacking and other noises made out of pleasure during the meal. While different ways are exercised in western culture, where lip-smacking is definitely not one, it is pretty common among Cambodian people.

Another important rule is that you can only begin when the eldest person starts eating. Although very traditional, it is better to be aware of such traditions. However, you can also start eating once everyone has rice on their plates.

You are expected to eat everything in the bowl. It is to say that wastage is not appreciated. Do not order or serve large amounts if you cannot eat a lot. They usually keep the main dishes in the middle of the table, from which you serve your personal bowls. So, you can take multiple servings, but wasting food is considered rude.


Ordering Food In Khmer

Khmer basic words

Now that you are aware of the cuisine and dining etiquette, let us start learning some basic Khmer phrases with an English translation that will help you in restaurants. Once you enter a traditional place, you should know how to interact and what to inquire about. And to do this, you will have to learn Cambodian phrases that are used daily.

Although Khmer restaurants are well equipped with English-speaking people, it is only respectful to learn their official language and appreciate their culture. So, here are some important words and phrases you must know!

1. Food

Translation: អាហារ

Since we are talking about ordering food in Khmer, it is essential to first learn the Khmer word អាហារ. It is pronounced as ahar. You will see various kinds of food in the streets and restaurants that will make you drool. Food is a unique way of attracting people worldwide in Cambodia. Food is also called ចមនីឤហារ- ch m ni ឤ har.

2. Hello!

Translation: ជំរាបសួរ

Once you have entered the restaurant, the first thing you will do is greet the staff by saying ជំរាបសួរ- chomreabsuor. Greetings in Cambodian culture are considered one of the most common ways of showing respect to your fellow being. So, to show respect in a polite way, you must say chomreabsuor to the first person you see.

3. Do You Have Free Tables?

Transition: តើអ្នកមានតុឥតគិតថ្លៃទេ?

If you go to a street restaurant or cafe to drink coffee or snacks, you might not need to this phrase. You can simply help yourself find an empty table and get comfortable. However, for well-of restaurants, you can go to the receptionists and ask តើអ្នកមានតុឥតគិតថ្លៃទេ?- tae anak mean to itkitathlai te? They will let you know if they have free seats for you within minutes.

4. Can I Have The Menu, Please?

Translation: តើខ្ញុំអាចមានម៉ឺនុយបានទេ?

In most restaurants, they already have the menu placed on the table. However, if you find no menus, you can ask តើខ្ញុំអាចមានម៉ឺនុយបានទេ?- tae khnhom ach mean meunouy ban te? In case you find that the menu is presented completely in the Khmer language, you can ask for an English menu by uttering តើអ្នកមានម៉ឺនុយភាសាអង់គ្លេសទេ?- tae anak mean meunouy pheasaeaangklesa te? (Do you have an English menu?).

5. I Am Ready To Order

Translation: ខ្ញុំត្រៀមខ្លួនជាស្រេចដើម្បីបញ្ជា

Once you are done scrolling the menu, you can call the waitperson and say ខ្ញុំត្រៀមខ្លួនជាស្រេចដើម្បីបញ្ជា- khnhom triemokhluon cheasrech daembi banhchea.

6. What Would You Recommend?

Translation: តើអ្នកនឹងណែនាំអ្វី?

Sometimes it is best to let the staff recommend items. Especially as foreigners, you are not very sure of the food that you want to try out. Asking តើអ្នកនឹងណែនាំអ្វី?- tae anak nung nenam avei? will surely let the staff help you with your taste.

7. I Would Like To Have…

Translation: ខ្ញុំចង់មាន…

Another way to order food can be ខ្ញុំចង់មាន…- khnhom chng mean… This will allow the staff to take notes of your dishes.

8. Do You Have…?

Translation: តើ​អ្នក​មាន​ទេ…?

Sometimes, a restaurant may not have all the items listed on the menu. So, the best way to figure it out is by asking តើ​អ្នក​មាន​ទេ…?- tae​ anak​ mean​ te…? This will make things easier for you by narrowing down the available choices.

9. That’s All

Translation: អស់ហើយ

Once you are done mentioning the food items you want, and the staff has repeated your order list, you can confirm it by saying អស់ហើយ- asahaey. It helps explain your thoughts and makes communication more convenient.

10. Can I Have The Bill, Please?

Translation: តើខ្ញុំអាចមានវិក័យប័ត្របានទេ?

When you are ready to pay, you can politely ask the staff to bring your bill by using the phrase តើខ្ញុំអាចមានវិក័យប័ត្របានទេ?- tae khnhom ach mean vi k y btr ban te? Sometimes the staff may bring the bill beforehand, and you can pay right after or once you have finished eating.

11. The Food Was Delicious!

Translation: ម្ហូបឆ្ងាញ់ណាស់!

Once you are done with all the above processes, it is always generous of you to give feedback and appreciate the work. So, if you like the food, you can comment ម្ហូបឆ្ងាញ់ណាស់!- mhoub chhnganh nasa! It will undoubtedly make them smile.

12. Thank You For Your Service

Translation: សូមអរគុណចំពោះសេវាកម្មរបស់អ្នក។

Lastly, before you leave, you must not forget to mention សូមអរគុណចំពោះសេវាកម្មរបស់អ្នក។- saum arkoun champoh sevakamm robsa anak. After the staff has done all the great work, it is only kind of you to thank them. You can also tip them if you want, but it is not that common in Cambodia.


More Khmer Phrases For Ordering Food

Ordering food in Khmer
Can I get a glass of water?តើខ្ញុំអាចយកទឹកមួយកែវបានទេ?tae khnhom ach yk tukmuoykev ban te?
Do you speak English?តើអ្នកចេះភាសាអង់គ្លេសទេ?tae anak cheh pheasaeaangklesa te?
Do you serve beef?តើអ្នកបម្រើសាច់គោទេ?tae anakabamreu sachko te?
Is there anything vegan?តើមានអ្វី vegan ទេ?tae mean avei vegan te?
I can’t eat spicyខ្ញុំមិនអាចញ៉ាំគ្រឿងទេសបានទេ។khnhom min ach nhoam kruengtesa ban te
I don’t eat meatខ្ញុំមិនបរិភោគសាច់ទេ។khnhom min briphok sach te .
Excuse me!អត់ទោស!attosa!
Sorry for the delayសូមអភ័យទោសចំពោះការយឺតយ៉ាវsaumoaphytosa champoh kar yutyeav
How many people?តើមានមនុស្សប៉ុន្មាននាក់?tae mean mnoussa bonman neak?
How much is it?តើ​វា​មានតម្លៃ​ប៉ុន្មាន?tae​ vea​ meanotamlei​ bonman?
Is there anything special today?ថ្ងៃនេះមានអ្វីពិសេសទេ?thngainih mean avei pisesa te?
Is this Halal?តើនេះជាហាឡាល់មែនទេ?tae nih chea ha la l mente?
Do you have anything sweet?តើអ្នកមានអ្វីផ្អែមទេ?tae anak mean avei phaem te?
What is this?តើ​នេះ​ជា​អ្វី?tae​ nih​ chea​ avei?
Please pack these for usសូមខ្ចប់របស់ទាំងនេះសម្រាប់ពួកយើងsaum khchab robsa teangnih samreab puok yeung
Do you accept card payments?តើអ្នកទទួលយកការទូទាត់តាមកាតទេ?tae anak ttuol yk kar touteat tam kat te?
The meal was satisfyingអាហារគឺពេញចិត្តahar ku penhchet
I don’t have enough money in cashខ្ញុំមិនមានលុយគ្រប់គ្រាន់ជាសាច់ប្រាក់ទេ។khnhom min mean louy krobkrean chea sachbrak te


Basic Restaurant Words In The Khmer Language

Billប៊ីល។bi l
Donationការបរិច្ចាគkar brichcheak
Fast-foodអាហាររហ័សahar rhs
Non-vegetarianអ្នកមិនបួសanak min buos
Reservationការកក់ទុកkar kk touk
Side dishម្ហូប​បន្ទាប់បន្សំmhoub​ banteabbansaam
Special itemធាតុពិសេសtheato pises
Tipព័ត៌មានជំនួយptrmean chomnuoy
Waitpersonអ្នករត់តុanak rt to


Enjoy Your Cambodian Meal!

Isn’t it amazing to speak the Khmer language like it is one of your native languages? Learning languages help you develop a keen understanding of not just the different scripts, but also the people and their culture. Thus, a set of Khmer words can make your trip relaxing as well as expose you to great insights that will help you travel with a native experience.

If you want to keep learning Khmer, you have nothing to worry about. Ling app is here to provide all the necessary sources for free. You can find the app on both Appstore and Playstore.


Learn Khmer With Ling

Whether you want to travel to Siem reap in Cambodia or Luang Probang in Laos, as a foreigner, you will need to research a lot before you travel to a new country. Thus, to make things easy for you, the Ling app is here to provide the best guide. It offers regular language services by covering diverse content on topics like food, culture, greetings, clothes, weather, etc.

The best part about using the Ling app is its unique features like mini-games, quizzes, dialogues, and the AI Chatbot system. Many users have found the interactive exercises proffered by the Bot helpful. It helps you engage in conversations and makes retention of knowledge easy. So, what are you waiting for? If you want to learn a new language, download the Ling app now!

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