We asked Ka, the guy who runs our favorite corner store, for a recommendation on a new place to eat. He said the “Vital” restaurant across from the Chinese School. What we found there was The White Rose. I guess “vital” and “white rose” sound kinda the same, only different.
This corner restaurant is a two story affair. The bottom floor had all locals eating on it; the top floor had all non-locals eating on it. It’s some sort of voluntary segregation, I guess; perhaps worthy of a sociological thesis.
There are many, many selections on the English and Khmer menu, a fair number of which are vegetarian friendly. We ordered a mushroom tom yom soup and vegetarian spring rolls, along with rice. The beer selection is wide by local standards, including Thai beers like Singha and Chang. We tried to get a papaya salad without fish sauce, but they were unwilling to make the necessary modifications (papaya salad is typically made with fish sauce, and sometimes includes small shrimp, although many places will make it with plain soy sauce and no shrimp to accommodate vegetarians).
The food was good, with the soup appropriately tangy and spicy.
As to cost, it’s a little high when compared with The Smokin’ Pot, which has become my yardstick for Battambang dining. Prices are about 25% higher.
Based upon the number of Westerners we saw, and the English-friendly menu, the restaurant does a good bit of tourist business. It also seems to do a good bit of local business, which is unusual for a Westerner-frequented place.
I wonder if the locals get a different price structure.
Will we eat here again? Probably. Does it stand out when compared to my yardstick, The Smokin’ Pot? Not really. It’s appears to be a decent place, but The Smokin’ Pot is still the standard to beat.